Guys

Arch1pelago's Yan Yuzon Spills His Firsts

Yan Yuzon of Pupil and Arch1pelago spills his memorable firsts with the ladies.

I have been tasked to share some of my experiences with you, milestones in a guy's life. This guy's life has been overly tragic-comedic-I must say that you girls have been very, very bad, and have made most of my life a horrific, blundering mess! Of course I mean that half-seriously, because as much as I'd like to play it cool, playfully spurn you, and profess that I no longer fall victim to your cunning ways, the truth is, inside any man of any age sits the eternal 12-year-old boy who desperately hopes that his lady fair will not break his heart.

What follows is a pseudo-detailed account of my sorry life in your sometimes-evil clutches. But you've seen us guys in action. As the ancient Japanese proverb goes, we "fall seven times, stand up eight." And as I take one for the guy team, have fun and snicker at will but do consider my advice. Boys, have a laugh, but pay attention as I share these unforgettable firsts.

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The first time I...

Asked a girl to dance.

It was a high school dance, which I attended when I was in grade six. Fairly unwise. Plus, I had a crazy haircut that got me in trouble sometimes. There she was, tall and pretty in her little red dress. She was actually in high school. Everyone was coming on to her, but she shrugged them all off with a nice little, "Uh, I'm waiting for someone pa eh..." I came up to her and said, "Can you baby-sit me?" She laughed, we danced. It worked-and for a long time, it would be the last time things would turn out fine for me as per the ladies.

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Guy Tip: Do the above sans the crazy haircut. It might still work.
Girl Tip: Do be tall and pretty in your little red dress. Do baby-sit.

Asked for a girl's number.

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Still at a tender age, I was but a fragile fawn (pardon the inexcusable metaphor). Context matters: I was at the MC Hammer concert at the Big Dome—don't ask why! This girl liked MC Hammer. We were in a group of family friends, though I didn't know her that well. I squirmed over to her, and asked, "Can I have your number?" The music was very loud, and for a time she pretended to hear something about "lumber," until she finally asked me why I wanted her number. I muttered something that sounded like, "'Cause my mom needs to get in touch with your mom..." To this day, the image of MC Hammer singing and gyrating to "U Can't Touch This" has me waking up in a pool of cold sweat.

Guy Tip: Be not the fragile fawn in a rap artist's concert. Enunciate-and have a better answer for the question "why"—all the time.
Girl Tip
: You either give it or you don't, you don't ask why!!!

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Called a girl.

Finally got hold of someone's six digits. (Yes, there were just six to a landline at the time, stop laughing!) I called this girl up, we chatted nervously on the phone for five minutes. And then, in the spirit of the generation that cherished the Power Ballad (look up bands like Bon Jovi, Poison, and Warrant), I made her listen to a song I actually wrote about her-receiver cocked in ear while strumming a guitar, while singing through lyrics and erasures on a leaf of my math notebook. This was physically hard, and I had hoped she'd appreciate what should have been a romantic moment. Instead, she "had to" hang up and asked me to call after five minutes. When I did, her eldest brother (a.k.a. Hip-Hop Gangster) picked up, said he heard everything on the extension, declared my song crap, and vowed to smash my guitar on my head if I dared call again. I decided to call... on God, for help.

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Guy Tip: Don't work it on the phone-it's a bit sissy and you never know if big brother's listening in.
Girl Tip
: Dump guys on your own. Don't unleash the killer kuya!

Kissed a girl.

You talk on the phone, you ask her out-if that works you actually go out, you come home, the date ends. And then they never want to see you again! But before that, sometimes (if you're lucky), comes the kiss. In my case, I was kissed by a girl ‘cause the moment dragged on and she must've figured, "This dork ain't gonna try nothing." So there's a difference, but also because kissing for most people entails mouth-to-mouth action and not the "sharp end of lollipop stick jutting out of guy's mouth poking lower left eyelid of girl with initiative." I dodged, the wrong way-which is crazy ‘cause I really liked her. Needless to say, after realizing that yes, she will still see out of that left eye, she did not try to kiss me again. Neither did I. I was too shocked at having given new meaning to the cliché, "Love is blind."

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Guy Tip: Do not dodge, especially when she is everything you want. And what's up with the lollipop? What're you, like, 12?
Girl Tip
: The surprise facial attack is too dangerous. A touch on the forearm draws attention first-then he'll see you coming, and you get to keep your eyesight! But seriously, you may wonder: "A lollipop? What're you, like, 12?" (No, 13 and a half.)

Attempted to saw my wrist off, tried to use a hammer to crack my skull open, and succeeded in breaking a glass door with my now-scarred right fist-all because my heart was broken.

Um, maybe we'll skip all that...

All of these stories are true, and the only person I'm willing to embarrass is lil' ol' me-to make a point, and it is this: Some guys, believe it or not, are worth your while. We may behave like fools often enough for dismissal, but in five more minutes (and hopefully not five more years!), we'll end up saying and doing just the right thing. Bottom line, you chicks rock, and when you turn our world upside down, things can get messed up. So give the dork in front of you another shot-he might just turn out to be the man who'll be, well, messy, clumsy, gassy, even-but who'll love you till the end of time.

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Guy Tip: Show this article to your girl. She'll realize you're doing much better than I did and give you a doggie biscuit!
Girl Tip
: Pretend to agree, and go easy on the little feller...

"I made her listen to a song I actually wrote about her... I had hoped she'd appreciate what should have been a romantic moment. Instead, she 'had to' hang up..." 

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"Today, I Won"

I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.

When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.

For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.

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After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.

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It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.

To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.

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Why our high school barkada is the best?

Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.

Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:

1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.

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2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.

3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.

4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.

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5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.

6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.

7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.

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