Five years ago, I was staring blankly at a computer at Kuya Rex’s house trying to come up with a single decent HS Math question to somehow pass Ferg’s fussy taste. I remember how Buduy would scribble some arbitrary words and numbers and voila, 10 Elementary Math questions done effortlessly. Justin came up with this strategy of writing and rewriting a History question over and over again until we headed home. My batch mates disappeared and escaped their assignments only to eat chocolates at Jer’s house. And some senior members barely had some sleep then, sharing the same struggles I had, trying to make enough questions for the arguably, most prestigious contest in Pampanga. This is the first time I saw how Pautakan was made and instantly, I fell in love with it. So hopelessly in love that I ended up running the whole show the year after.
Fast forward this year, I am still staring blankly at my computer, trying to come up with the right words to describe how badly I missed everything about Pautakan. This year would mark the first time I skipped Questions Nights, the first time I failed to write a single question and worse, the first time I will not be attending Pautakan itself. But I will be relieved by the fact that the people in charge now somehow learned a thing or two from us and they are experiencing the same thrill and exhilaration we had then when we were still members of UP Aguman.
I missed how Agumems would come up with the weirdest set of ideas for our questions. From our ultimate celebrity crushes to a random viral video from Youtube to trivial Guinness records, we had questions about them all. There’s no way one can predict where our questions would come from – unless we share the same thoughts and you stalked us on Facebook.
I missed how it feels to have your questions read by the Quizmaster. Having your questions picked is one thing but having your questions read is another. It somehow validates your mastery on your assigned subject and it’s exciting to see if anyone else could provide the correct answer. But it’s terrifying as well especially if one argues with your answers and you convince yourself you are very sure with your sources and solutions.
I missed creating Physics, Chemistry and Math questions…even though most kids would not even dare to lift their pens and attempt to solve the problem. Trust me; they are not as complex as they may sound.
I missed spilling out some AguChismis through Pautakan questions. If you want to know about who’s courting who, who dumped who and who’s dating who, focus on the story before the questions and you’ll find out the real score between specific Agumems. Really, it’s our chance to be creative with our narratives and it’s the best chance to torment your frenemies.
I missed attending Questions Nights to vandalize a sleeping Agumem’s body. We are not just academic people, you know. We have our artsy side as well. And vandalizing is a form of art legal ONLY during Qnights. Transform a member into a panda or a Dalmatian? LEGAL! Accessorize someone with earrings and slippers? LEGAL! You see, sleep is a luxury most Agumems could not afford during Qnights. And those who dared to sleep suffered the wrath of the sleepless and its consequences.
I missed running errands for Pautakan. I probably did every role possible for this event. From being a runner, to a paperboy, host, quizmaster, judges’ slave, photographer, subject head, questions committee head, project head, to being a judge myself, I did it all. And when you see how everything is running smoothly and all, then you will feel so rewarded.
Lastly, I just missed being with Agumems. No explanations needed.