10 things

By on June 30, 2007

The least a writer could do is to find the right words that could best capture a fleeting thought in his head, preserve an important memory or freeze a moment in time. I did not know what I was thinking when I made a highschool classmate this yearbook caption:

“…with a Nokia 5110 in her hand, she takes long strides across the school corridor…”

How she would react to that caption today is already beyond me. If I had been more sensitive to how fast gadgets become obsolete, I would have scrapped entirely the “Nokia 5110” from her yearbook entry. I should have written:

“this girl is among the very few persons in our batch to start a revolution, the phenomenon with humble beginnings called texting. That’s why she walked long strides in our school corridor because she knew that the future is already in her hands, especially the one holding a red Nokia 5110.”

But everyone made mistakes in highschool, I consoled myself. You were too afraid to fall in love with your bestfriend. You bought a Spice Girls album. You copied Dawson’s Creek’s Katie Holmes’ semi-hate-the-world-half-closed-eyelids stare. And I fashioned out a caption from a Nokia 5110.

So one lazy afternoon, in one of my favorite coffeeshops, I enumerated 10 things I want to accomplish in the next 10 years or so of my life. I started with places, books, movies and activities. Soon enough, the small tissue could not contain anymore the random entries. I momentarily forgot as well the memory of my classmate and her cellphone.

The list ranged from the easy buys to the ultimate adventures, the incredulous to the impossible and the mundane to the divine.

But I have to remind myself that this is more of a suntok-sa-buwan (wishful thinking) and not in any way a blueprint for my future. This long list would someday become like the caption I made for my classmate. The youthful ambitiousness it may have could easily be put to oblivion in just a couple of years. But I could live with that, along with the thousands of what-I-was-thinking-when-I-wrote-that moments in my life.

As to how I will do all these, I do not have a definite answer for now. Here goes my 10 things:

Ten people i want to have dinner with one day
1. Philip Yancey
2. Stephen Hawking
3. Conrado de Quiros
4. the man in this picture
5. Cheche Lazaro
6. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7. Dick Winters
8. Ashley Judd
9. Gary Valenciano
10.Dan Haseltine

Ten thrills in the Philippines that i must experience
1. windmills of Banguey
2. old houses in Vigan
3. reefs of Tubbataha
4. snorkeling with the whalesharks in Donsol
5. Mt. Apo
6. a ‘lively’ session in the Senate
7. a boat ride in the Liguasan marsh
8. Batanes’ view of the South China Sea
9. spelunking in Siquijor
10. landtrip from Butuan to Manila.

Ten places outside the country that I would visit someday
1. Ushuaia
2. Grand Canyon in Arizona
3. stand in the middle of Shibuya crossing
4. Beijing in time for the 2008 Olympics – not possible anymore
5. Google Headquarters
6. Bastogne
7. any Guggenheim museum
8. on top of this building
9. Sierra Leone
10.the exact opposite of Ushuaia.

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  1. Reply


    July 4, 2007

    “You were too afraid to fall in love with your bestfriend.”

    Hehehe.. huilty ako nyan! kaw din?

  2. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    July 4, 2007

    unfortunately jed, i did not have a bestfriend in highschool. 😛

    how’s it going in sunny gen san?

  3. Reply


    July 5, 2007

    Ganun? Lucky for you, bestfriend-love hurts like a motherhumper.

    Ang init pa rin. hahaha.. although umuulan lately.

    Ang daming mga hard to find books ang library namin pero ala din time para magbasa. ironic noh?

  4. Reply


    July 5, 2007

    hehehe… Yancey… read grace chong’s July 3 post http://leavesofgrace.blogspot.com/.

    Glad your back on track.. ako pud, post-post na pud balik.

  5. Reply

    Grace D. Chong

    July 7, 2007

    Hi, Brennan,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I can see from the comment above that you got there through Bagz.

    Look up Yancey’s “Finding God in Unexpected Places” and your perspective of people and events will never be the same again.

    I didn’t realize till I read your latest post that “freezing moment in time” is my favorite past time! You are a kindred spirit.

  6. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    July 7, 2007

    jed, find me a copy of Rushdies’ Satanic Verses or The Ground Beneath Her Feet. I’ll get back to your “so many books so little time” comment in my next entry.

    it’s like that jolina-marvin movie all over again. but at the very least, you took that risk. and that may be one of the most important decisions you have made in your life.

    bags, welcome back. writing is more of a therapy for me lately. if i don’t blog, i fall apart.

    buy a TV as soon as possible. how about the issue of piracy in your next entry? : )

  7. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    July 7, 2007

    Hi miss Grace. For a few seconds I could not believe that you actually posted a comment in my humble blog. I mean, your books are all over OMF and National Bookstore.

    Thank you for the kind words.

    Will Yancey come back to Philippines soon?

  8. Reply


    July 7, 2007

    5110-best cell phone in town eight years ago.

  9. Reply

    the caterpillar

    July 7, 2007

    “The youthful ambitiousness it may have could easily be put to oblivion in just a couple of years. But I could live with that, along with the thousands of what-I-was-thinking-when-I-wrote-that moments in my life.”

    that’s the spirit! so what if you really don’t get to achieve all of them, right? you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. this kind of dreaming is free… and good for us.

    …and if you do achieve them, WOW!!! you could have that “i somehow knew it” moment. bliss.

    i personally believe in the power of acknowledging one’s wants by writing them down.

  10. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    July 8, 2007

    himantayon, welcome bai!

    jr3, i somehow took inspiration from your 365-new-things/learnings-in-365-days entry. i realized that there’s more to life than being stuck in an office cubicle.

    rock on!

  11. Reply


    July 10, 2007

    naks… ka age ba tayo? dawsons? spice girls? nokia 5110? hahaha! i remember the days…

  12. Reply


    July 14, 2007

    a piece of tissue won’t be enough to scribble those things of the moment. but when you began to write, some thoughts just vanish, only to be recalled again at a later time.

    I don’t really know what runs into the mind of Philip Yancey. I heard him speak when he was here a few years ago. I even got some his sigs on my books. A dinner with him would indeed be a thrilling experience.

  13. Reply


    July 15, 2007

    aahh. galeng, sana ma accomplish mo! =)

    trip ko rin ang mga old churches.

  14. Reply


    July 15, 2007

    i used to write some of the captured thoughts in a piece of tissue paper. Then I bring them home and rewrite in some tickler.

    I miss those times.

    About Yancey, I already heard him talk during that time he visited Cebu.


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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