Exactly two years ago, I passed the CPA board examination – barely, as in pasang-awa or in English ‘hanging by a thread’. But it still good enough to be the greatest day of my life, so far. How I did it was probably from a dose of determination, courage, prayers, luck and those all-important a push from friends. I am not that intelligent to be classified as one of the guy-who-will-surely-pass and my passion for the profession always remains doubtful. I was excited to go to Manila not because of the review but just to see well, Manila. I knew my chances were slim.
For my lodging during the review, I took my chances at the place called Glodenco Dormitory, just a stone’s throw away from the review center – CPAR Manila. It’s a four-storey building along Cayco Street in Sampaloc, fully furnished, with air-conditioned rooms, flood-proof (from the 2nd floor and above) and the color is yellow. I stayed in the Room 205, a good for 8 person room, with a small table inside, four double-deck beds, sky-high lockers, two fire exits, one fire extinguisher and it has six walls. There’s a common room or sort of knights Templar every floor and that where most people burn their candles and sometimes unloads their madness as a result. Life was very comfortable in that dorm despite the uber-strict policies like no washing of laundries, the curfew at 10pm, no drinking, no smoking, no inter-housemate affairs (very hard to comply) and no appliances allowed unless paid and registered. The latter was our favorite rule to break, we smuggled laptops, electric fans, some water heaters, radios, stereo amplifiers, electric irons and a whole lot of FHM magazines.
Reviewing for the toughest board exam for the country was a hell of a burden to bear, but thanks God I’ve met an incredible bunch of young people to share the pain, laughter and madness of the coming war – I call them my friends. These bright young people came from all over the country, from different schools and different backgrounds come together at Glodenco to share one goal of passing the exam. Some of them I have the fortune of a lifetime to be my close friends; we call our barkada the Power Rangers. I don’t know why and who chose that name but all we know is that we just clicked as if we have known each other for a long time. By the way, Glodenco was not exclusive for CPA reviewees, there were also seamen all of them masters of foolishness, engineering the masters of Math and sleeping, and some UST undergrads whose innocence can no longer be determined. And the stars of the house were the girls of the fourth floor, they were the lovely angels that made our days complete when we see them.
The dorm only had one single TV, so full of glorious saving grace to allow the Power Rangers see their all-time favorite TV show Katorse, then later Boys Over Flowers. Power Rangers eats together at a bisaya carenderia where we order a lot of pork. Every week one member had the privilege of treating the whole gang for ice cream at the Ministop convenience store nearby. We had this Friday night movie marathons. Our favorite DVD is the 9-in-1 Ong Bak disk, whose real contents are some peopling named Maria Ozawa, Diana Zubiri, Hayden Kho and the Hot Babes. Gross.
The review was a grueling ordeal each and every one had to toil with, so as much as possible we study together, we exchanged notes and answer keys, and we even reserved seats at the review center. We learned to understand each other as we learned together the difference between Tama or Mali, how to catch trick questions and invent short-cut solutions. Everyday the study materials grow never ending, and my nose never failed to shed that imaginary blood I felt like giving up in some nights. But those guys were there for me either for a tap on the shoulder or for a good conversation over a cup of coffee. I realized the review was not only a review of the lessons we’ve learn from college but a review of ourselves as well.
I was very happy over those months during the review, I can never thank God enough for giving me the chance to stay at Glodenco and make friends with the people inside it. The friendship we’ve had during those days was strong bonded by our struggles, our goal and our Faith to God and for one another. All those bandings we’ve had, the movies, those laugh out loud nights (especially the Ondoy night), the kalokohan, the sapakan and kantsawan, I can’t help but miss those moments. I’ve been living on that happy past ever since, I haven’t said thank you enough to them. End of the line, I would not have survived the test without them. I’m glad I spent a part of my life in Glodenco. Indeed it’s not about the destination that truly matters, but it’s how you spent the journey to get there. It’s been two years since we parted ways and it all started at the house of friendship.
And me, I still believe in paradise. But now, at least I know it’s not some place you can look for and it is not where you go, its how you feel for a moment in your life when you are part of something. And if you find that moment… it last forever.
– Leonardo Di Caprio, The Beach