Sunday, February 2, 2014

Of Life Lessons and Pusoy Dos

                One thing I probably missed the most in college would be playing Pusoy Dos at the tambayan. Well, after hours of “intrepid” studying and “vigilant” listening to our terror professors, we usually treat ourselves with a game or two of arguably the most popular game then during our time. Not saying that gambling is or was ever tolerated in UP, but we just play money-less, wholesome card game for fun, pride and bragging rights.

                Fortunately for me, I learned how to play Pusoy Dos when I was just five, the same time I learned how to play piko, tumbang preso and moro-moro. By staying up late at night and watching our card expert elderlies in Zambales (re: “sugarol”) play that tricky game, I already mastered the game that young. And I probably owe it to Pusoy Dos why I have a certain liking for numbers and in Math, in general. But that’s not the only thing I learned from that exciting game. I have learned some valuable lessons in life and love throughout all the hands that I have been dealt with before.

                I learned how to honor hierarchy and order. There are rules you have to follow and there is a hierarchy that has to be kept to have an organized society. A full house can never beat a straight flush. Though some rules may vary like what suits beat what, I will always believe that Hearts will always be better than Diamonds.

                I learned how to take risks. Your cards have been kept secret for a reason – you should know how to strategize and take calculated moves. You can only hold on to your card for so long. Sometimes, you have to give up your two of spades to get rid of your pair of threes. You have to go out of your comfort zone to open up for new possibilities.

                I learned how to not be too arrogant. Even with four two’s and three aces, you can never be sure that you have the winning hand. You should always stay humble and grounded. You shouldn’t not get too excited and start to brag about how good your cards look. No matter how lucky you get, no matter how excellent you have been, you should always play the game the same, you treat all your hands as if they were just plain.

                I learned about timing and discipline. You can’t throw a pair of aces after a pair of kings when everybody already passed on their turn. You shouldn’t play a four of a kind and play a queen as your kicker. You should know when to throw a straight hand then back it up with a royal flush. Timing is everything. You should know when to strike and go for the kill.

                I learned how to control my emotions. You can never get too emotional when playing cards. When people see that crack in your character, they will target that weakness and attack you mercilessly. Your emotions should be consistent and apparent; you should be sure of yourself and confident with every move. Plus you can only bluff so much.

            Finally, I learned that life is about dealing with cards you are given. We cannot control whatever hand you would be dealt with. But just because you think you are not given the right cards, you should complain and give up. Remember the cards you’ve been given is purely by fate but how you play your cards is your own free will. Like how American writer Jack London would put it, “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.”

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