What is fast becoming as common as road potholes, skin heads, motorcycles, street children, unemployed person, and grandstanding Philippine politicians? You guessed right, the mind boggling Rubik’s Cube. Little did I know that this 6-colored-swiveling-cube will once again haunt me at this age, and with guilt, became one of my interests while on a week-long wedding anniversary celebration. Ti abi.
I have fond memories of this toy. When we were pesky little kids, our mother used to bring me and my sis to her work as it was just a few kilometers away from where we lived. While in the office I get to bug her boss, well, just like any kid. It’s a good thing that her boss happens to be a relative and somehow bugging him isn’t much of a big deal and besides, he would love to show off how good he is with the then novel Rubik’s Cube. He can do two colors.
My mother later on gave us our own cube and I got hooked to it although I can only do one color at a time. I never got close to two unlike my uncle. I’m so proud of him that I would always brag to my grade school classmates that my tito can do two colors. Those whom I’ve seen complete all six sides were only on TV–Eat Bulaga’s segment if I’m not mistaken.
Years passed and I have fully forgotten my fascination and frustration with this puzzle until the fad returned. At first I just shrugged off the urge to buy thinking that I’m done with that stage already and have surrendered it to be solved especially by the young geeks. It seems though that my attraction to it cannot be denied. More people seem to have mastered it and every time I see one, I secretly envied them. So enough is enough.
I eventually bought myself a new cube and grabbed the opportunity to fill in the gaps during my one week vacation to learn it. I printed tips from colleagues, searched the web for more instructions and like one student trying to make up for bad grades, I spent extra time studying how it really works. Within three days, I got it at last! The next days I can do it without looking at the guide and I was timing how long it takes for me to complete the whole puzzle. I may not be in the league of the speed cubers, but who cares? A 5-minute average is good for me.
Now I’m very thankful that I did not include acquiring this skill among the 100-things-to-do-before-I-die list or I could be counting down just 99 more. Whew. I never really knew that the day will come, when I’d lift my head high and say, ”Tito Joe,who?”