Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bring On The Fail!

I read Budjette’s The Babbling Point Multiply entry entitled, “Failure: The Secret of Success” (click here to read the whole thing).

The entry narrates how in high school, one of the regular classes always ended up second place to the honors class in a yearly theater contest. By their fourth and final year, they thought they would finally win over the A-students. Instead, they tied for first place.

Afterwards Mr. Pagsi, the teacher who moderated the contest (and who was the class advisor of section A during their first year), approached the director/writer of the perennial second-placer. Mr. Pagsi congratulated the director and said, “My A-boys are good, yes? My A-boys do not know defeat. They are champions.”

Then he put his hands on the director and said, “You and your boys know defeat and you know it well. You are more.”

* * * * *

That entry brought back so many memories for me.

I was placed in the honors section starting grade 5. In high school I was in the A-section for four years and was even a student of Mr. Pagsi during first year (I even joined his theater group). In college I was placed in the English honors class. In all those years, with all those different teachers, they all said basically the same thing to us: To whom much is given, much is expected.

Like all those who’ve gone through a rebellious stage, I once considered mediocrity as a life philosophy and stance, just to get away from all this “excellence and high standards” hammered into our heads. But eventually I settled on what I think is a healthy attitude towards failure, especially in my profession. Usually agency people don’t want to look silly or stupid in front of others, especially during brainstorming. Lord knows how my boss appreciates my fearlessness when it comes to throwing my ideas on the table, no matter how silly or stupid some of them may sound. What can I say? I’m shameless, hahaha!

Still the yearly hammering had taken its toll. Though nowadays I can actually shrug my shoulders and be philosophical about mistakes and failure, I still have some personal sore spots. And they can really be irrational at times. I would “compete” with stupid, reckless drivers on the street to be the first at a particular stoplight. In the gym, I hate the idea of doing repetitions “to failure” (you do enough repetitions such that your muscles are so tired you almost “fail” to complete the number of reps on the last set). When I fixate on a particular CD or DVD that I want to get, I don’t care if I have to jump from mall to mall just to find it.

If the secret of success is failure, I wonder if the secret to appreciation is rejection.

I’m 43 years old and single since birth. I know Rejection; we’re practically conjoined twins. I should be used to His nasty sense of humor, but still He manages once in a while to pull a fast one; sometimes He’d even pull the rug—nay, the floor—from under me. I’ve learned that it’s not the falling for someone that’s important; it’s how I pick myself up after I had my face shoved into the dirt.

I am not a champion. I am more.

I am more single.

Yeah! ☺


Tristan Tan said...


Ming Meows said...


mas bongga ka pa kay miriam quiambao teh!

promote ko lang ang new single ko:

MrCens said...

on this site you always give... and i am expecting you to sign my shirt if i see you in person.


palma tayona said...


about people trying to run or drive ahead of the other, subukan mo sumakay sa mrt. for all these years that i have been riding the trains, hindi ko maintindihan (i have several theories) kung bakit there's this conscious mindset in people to race up the escalator and be first. eh samantalang pagdating mo sa turnstiles it wouldn't matter if you run or not, you still end up getting there and be slowed down.

people... it's our nature to compete and be out there and be noticed.

Pedro Penduko said...

one will never know the rapture and glory of winning if he has never known the pains of defeat.

dabo said...

ang lalim nya, medyo lost ako on how i was reading the entry..

success naman is relative, yung model mo ng mundo is not necessarily model ng mundo para sa iba. pero since people are collection of minds, in which we call society, success suddenly have an orthodox icon, a kind of reference handbook in which we used to measure the stuff (i.e. success) in our lives. and it's not a bad thing.

tama ka, your own self-made reference book is always greater if not grander. always more.

joelmcvie said...

@DABO: Now you lost me, hahaha! =)

Anonymous said...

ang galing! :)

Theo Martin said...

Im starting to believe that the secret to success is failure. That I guess is the attitude I must adapt since now I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel of failure.

No way to go but up as they say.

:) Enlightening McVie even when you dont realize it. :)