Blockmates. We are nearly five years out of college but we still use this term pretty often. The thing is, although we formed groups in our student days, communication between any members of the block has stayed intact up until we graduated and started working. And just recently, meetups are getting a bit regular. Or maybe these are the things you learn once you get out of your cave.
For January, we decided to go for our weekend badminton meetups with our friends and blockmates. We figured we’ve been with these people for a quite a long time and they deserve to be featured first. For a bit of history, our badminton meetups started way back 2012. Once in a while we’d set a game with workmates after office and we’d all be late for work the following day. The activity was then moved to weekends when we realized that regular weeknight badminton games can be pretty detrimental to both our health and careers and more people got invited over time. Some became regular players, some just dropped by, and some joined but go on a break every so often. The group currently has 7 members with two of them on a break. Most of them were our blockmates.
The Eager Beavers
Izza, Web Developer
Izza is one of the first blockmates we knew. She played chess (a game we never got good at) back in high school and entered college as a scholar of the CHEd. Nearly nine years later and she still looks as young. She currently works for an Australian owned IT company in Ortigas. She often hooks us up with her high school friends who are also badminton enthusiasts. For that it’s not uncommon to get a message from her suggesting an ideal time for the weekend games. She plays front.
When not in the game, she hangs out with other friends or does some volunteer work. We also rely on her for travel invites ’cause we never succeed at planning such activities. For some reason, our friends just won’t seem to take us seriously when we suggest going to someplace.
Joy, Software Engineer
While Joy was somewhat inducted to the all-girl group called 4F in which Izza also belongs, she’s practically the cause of most group overlaps in the block. This can be attributed to her likability brought about by her being the block joker. She’s quite sporty. It’s probably her way of making up with all the lost chances of being in a sports team back in high school as she was asked to focus on academics. She was a fellow DOST scholar. She came all the way from Mindoro to study in Manila. She mostly plays center and conveniently crashes on someone’s couch at the end of the games.
On her free time she does calligraphy which made her a contributing artist of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf quite by accident. She’s quite into learning new things every now and then. She has just picked up crocheting as well.
JL, Android Apps Developer
JL was not really a blockmate although he could have been one. He went to a different school but has always been known to Izza and Raymond. We met him as an intern in our first job where he spent months diagramming every use case of the online banking system we were maintaining. After he graduated he applied for a job and became a part of the mobile team which the company was then forming. He was initially trained in .Net technologies and had to learn industry level Java programming along the way. His growth was impressive. We believe he now has more tricks up his sleeves compared to us. Apart from being one of the developers of ArkoPH, an application that snatched a place in the World Summit Awards, he also just won for another app called E-Jeep Tracker at the AT&T 2014 Philippines Mobile App Developers’ Day (PHDD).
He is most comfortable playing back as he’s good with drives and slices. When not in the court, it’s normal to see him with his phone playing Clash of Clans. He has always been a gamer since his high school days; perhaps even way before that. He also released a weather forecasting mobile application in Google Play called Uulan Ba? which is a Filipino question that roughly translates to “Is it going to rain?” He also has a twin brother nicknamed PJ.
Image Source: AT&T Developer Program
Eunice, Software Engineer
We are the one to get her into all these badminton stuff. We even bought her a racket. She’s our girlfriend that’s why. That equates to us being her headache. Do you think it’s rather odd for two home-loving bookworms to have a sporty date every weekend? We think so too. But we can leave it like that. We often let her play front so we can watch her back (Ehem. Not to be taken literally.)
She started her career as an Android applications developer for a startup. After a year or so, she moved to a very well-known IT company. When she’s not at work and free from us, she reads books, plays the ukulele, or watches countless TV series, reality shows, and movies. That makes her quite a pop culture geek. She also owns a fun-loving beauceron-looking female mutt she calls Nori.
Elbert, iOS Apps Developer
Elbert or Epoy is a couple of years our senior. He used to work at a bank before undergoing training and becoming a part of the mobile team. He is a certified Apple fan boy. He is also quite into sports and it was no surprise that he started as the best player in the group. He’s the group’s champion for a singles match as he can play any position. He is currently on a break from the games due to tight deadlines at work.
Mondi, Android Apps Developer
Mondi and I front as each other’s best friend for we still haven’t found other members of our respective species. He went into the same high school as Izza and JL. He was our point of contact with PAGASA during the creation of ArkoPH and functioned as the lead of the Android development sub-team. He currently works for a company getting offshore mobile development work from Singapore.
The group is going on a break for two weeks to make way for Valentine’s day activities and a trip to Baler. When we get back, we’ll most probably reclaim the longest casual play time in the place’s records. -aB
PS: If ever you’re wondering, yes, that’s a portion of a PVC pipe they are posing with. The idea was to pose with an utterly random object ’cause we’re crazy like that. It could have been a bag of ice.