UnDifferent – Kayna

*I discussed the premise for this whole project in a previous post.

Each of the subjects that I have made pictures of in the creation of this series will each share 3 things that they consider to be unique and distinct to their person. Once again, the point of the exercise is to allow the subjects to assert their individuality, yet find a commonality with other people at the same time.

For the second set of UnDifferent portraits, I have decided to shift the voice of the narrative over to the subjects themselves. This would allow me to share with you the experience of getting to know each subject yourself. I will only make necessary edits for the purpose of clarity.

1 — Adventurous. I’ve tried a lot of outdoor activities before. My first spelunking experience was when I was only grade 4. I’ve kayaked, rappelled off a cliff, went karting, camped and tried fishing, scuba diving, cliff diving, etc. I love the thrill and excitement of it all, and I guess I was conquering my fears as well.

All this prepared me for the most suspenseful moment of my life so far — the New Year of 2013. I wanted to go to Bacolod and there was no more seats available on the bus. My only choice was to wait for someone to give up their seat OR take a plane. Since there were no more planes bound for Bacolod on that day, the nearest flight I could get was for Iloilo.

I had less than 30 minutes left to make my way from the bus terminal to the airport. So when I got in a cab, it was like I was in The Amazing Race! We sped through the streets. I never felt so alive! When I got to the airport, I bought a ticket bound for Iloilo and raced to the check-in counter. They weren’t going to accept my ticket pa sana ’cause the “gates were already closed” but after a few seconds of pleading, they let me through saying “Miss, next time arrive here 1 hour before your flight ha.” I ran through the security check and boarded a plane that was supposed to leave a few minutes ago.

I spent a few hours in Iloilo but  eventually made it to Bacolod before noon. I was in three cities just in one day, and all this happened even before I turned 20. Others think of an adventure as something to do with the wild outdoors, but for me adventures happen the moment you forget about time and just move.


2 — Playful. I’ve always been known to be makulit. My classmates in Chemical Engineering were even shocked that I had the guts to fool around with our department chairman given his reputation for being strict.

But my most memorable kakulitan moments in university would be when I was still studying in La Salle in sir Alan’s class – accountancy’s most feared teacher. We didn’t let circumstances and rumors get the best of us, so I and a group of friends planned all these “missions” that we had to accomplish before a given deadline.

Missions like tell a joke in class, answer sir’s boardwork questions a number of times, make sir smile, etc.

The most challenging mission was making sir laugh. We tried everything! I even embarrassed myself and used a pick up line on him, but nothing happened! No giggle, nada. Until one day, sir pranked us! It was during one of his boardwork activities which went — “Hands down. Ready, one, two, UP!” The first one to raise their hands at UP gets to answer on the board. (It was a true race for us cause we were given plus points for answering on the board) but on that day, instead of the routine he said, “Hands down. Ready, one, two… STAND up!” And in all our anticipation, my friend, who was the most silent in class,  JUMPED just to be chosen to answer on the board. And after 2 long months, we finally got sir Alan to laugh.

It was a big victory for me and my group of friends but an even bigger accomplishment for the class. I didn’t have a crush on sir or anything, I just wanted him to feel like he was loved by his students.

During those times, I thought to myself, “We’re all human. Even teachers, with their tough exterior, need to love and be loved in return.” I know being makulit can be annoying, but my kakulitan is how i make lambing (to show affection). It has given me not only laughter and memories that I’ll never forget, but relationships with people that I thought were impossible to make.


3 — Quirks. I have a lot. But I think the one thing I do that people don’t know about or can’t really notice about me is that I sleep religiously. It isn’t just a natural need for me, I MUST sleep. It is the most IMPORTANT time of my day. I don’t care if I have a lot of assignments or things to do, when the clock ticks 10 P.M., I’ll already be in bed by 9. That’s just how I am.

If I sacrifice my sleep, it affects me the whole of the following day. I hear a lot of stories from classmates that they would stay up till the wee hours of the morning just for an exam. That’s something I could never do and not because it’s the proper healthy thing to do, But because my sentiment is. “Matug ko oy! Bahala mo. Matug jud ko mag kina unsa. Matug jud ko.” (I’m going to sleep. I don’t care what happens. I’m going to sleep).

It’s become a habit for me to always put my sleep first that I can truly say that I am a slave to my nocturnal needs. I’ve chosen sleep over study and play many times. It’s not because of laziness. It’s just because for me, my sleep is as important to my life as breathing.

I mean, you wouldn’t hold your breath just because your paper is due tomorrow, right?

Up next, Paulo

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