Posted in #Love, Family, Uncategorized

A Family Tree with Adjectives

November 1, 2016

Today is All Saint’s Day. I always look forward to this day because aside from the fact that I get to visit my dead relatives’ graves, I also get to see the ones who are still alive. I seldom get to meet with them because of a lot of reasons, so this is the only probable time. The family’s long-time tradition was to meet each other up at our Lola’s grave (which is also the place where a cousin, two grandfathers, an aunt and an uncle are rested, all from my father’s side) that is guarded by two huge bamboo trees on both sides somewhere south of the Alang-Alang Cemetery. So, we usually sit under the shade and share lunch. If there was no food, we would all go to one Mrs. Pataňo’s canteen and rent a table for a small gathering. We would usually share some kilos of Lechon Baboy and share stories of the dead ones while drinking Tuba.

I said “was” because for two years now, this has stopped being a tradition. For two consecutive years of November 1s, we stopped digging this reunion thing. I am not sure when it all started, but we don’t wait up for each other anymore under the bamboo trees nor go to Mrs. Pataňo’s canteen to eat together. Now, all we did was go to the graves and light up our candles, stand for several minutes while whispering our own prayers and abruptly bid our goodbyes to the souls.

I saw some of my cousins, aunts and uncles today but we didn’t invite each other for lunch. Everyone was in a hurry to go somewhere else. I was a bit disappointed but I guess, being surprised would be the last thing that I need to be.

———————————-

I hail from a huge and not so wealthy family. For all of my life, I never denied this reality to myself and to a lot of the people. My grandparents from both sides were farmers, until their deaths. Theirs were the generation that was taken away by World War II. Lola Maring often told us stories about the Japs and how they poisoned them by feeding them with Kurot (a type of root crop which was edible but needs to be meticulously prepared to wash away its fatal toxins) and how the red necks get drunk from drinking tuba and how they all hide from bullets and bombs when these people blasted each other away.

After the war, they plowed, watered and planted on lands which never became theirs. Sending the kids to school was the greatest challenge. Food was precious and prioritized especially with the growing family so the kids almost never went to college, not until they work their own asses off to send themselves to school. At that time, province life was unimaginable. Life was hard, money was rare.

Among my father’s 11 siblings, (2 of whom were stillborn while one uncle died because of ignorance and slightly from acute appendicitis at the age of 18 years) only one finished college and became a teacher. One of his brothers went abroad to find a greener pasture, one remained in the barrios to become a farmer while one is a fruit-vendor. His eldest sister (who died at the age of 70 something) married an uncle who worked in a ship, the teacher married a security personnel and the other one went to Cavite to create a family of her own. My father who was the youngest first fell in love with his music. He went all over the place playing the guitar and Ukulele with his band. He was supposed to become a veterinarian when he met my mother. He quit school during his third year in college and married Nanay. He then became a professional auto mechanic.

My biological mother was the second to the last one from a siblings of five. Between our parents, we (their children) are closer to Papa’s side than that of Nanay’s. So, there is only a diminutive things to say here about the whereabouts of her other three siblings. I’ve heard little rumors like that of their eldest sister dying from a heart attack back in 2014, and her older brother who has successful children. But never have I heard from the aunt who went to Australia and never came back even after the death of Lola Ising. I don’t know where the youngest went or whether he is still alive. We have this aunt though who got married but never had any children. I am not pretty sure if it was by choice or something else. When my parents separated, this aunt fought for our custody but it never worked out. After the ordeal, Nanay died from an illness (I was seven then) and instead of having us, she got Nanay’s part on their 60 hectare-ancestral lands and now farms it. I remember when we were kids, during summer, our aunt would usually send us boxes of sweet Lansones. But now, I have no idea whatever happened to the trees because no more boxes are coming in. Papa says she already sold the lands, which is quite disappointing because technically, it was ours. We could have been rich by now. *Haha. My old man also says that among us, I have my mother’s face and laugh. My mother died at the age of 32 from intense stubbornness and as typical with unhealthy people, a little of her illness.

My stepmother (the one who took care of us like her own children when my father married her after the death of Nanay) has the strangest story among all of them. According to her, she was adopted by her grandparents and took their last name because her mother (whom she called Ate) got pregnant while under the influence of Gayuma (love potion) by her late father. So obviously, the relationship didn’t work out when her mom woke up from the magical love affair, and she became an unwanted baby. So her Lola took her instead. She never met her father. She found out about the truth when she was I think 12 or 15, I’m not sure anymore. After the revelation, her mother took her in and sent her to college. She finished Commerce but never (even once) did she became an employee of any office. She was once offered to work in a bank, but then she already met Papa who by then was 33 and they had a month old baby and she can’t afford to be away from her daughter, even just the thought of leaving brought huge tears to her eyes. So, she remained to become a housewife to a man who has three children from a previous wife ever since she was 25 years old.

All of my three parents had their fair share of hardships and difficulties, as with my aunts and uncles from both side. Theirs was a life that was hard and where money was rare unless you go to Manila to look for a brighter future. Especially after they have decided to make their own families and create their own stories.

The more we know, the more we know that we do not know. These stories are just the tip of the ice berg. It’s nice though to hear stories from my parents as I have yet to tell and finish my own. I still have a long way to go, our stories will still become more colorful and longer as we go along this journey as a family, but I hope that the traditions will never cease. I long for that day when all of us will be in a single place, everyone, from my parents and siblings to my cousins and their parents and their great grandchildren.  It would be nice to see and hear their own versions of these stories and their own anecdotes as well.

———————————-

I hope next year, we will all wait up for each other again and eat our lunches all together under the bamboo trees where our roots lay as one and tell each other our own stories…

-m

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Posted in #Love, Uncategorized

My Funny and Awkward Love Affairs

My love stories are weird. I mean, now that I think about them, I sometimes cringe at the embarrassing moments and just wish to disappear right here and now or wish that it is just me who remembers awkward stuff and all, but of course, there were also fun times to be thankful about.

When I was in high school, I fell in love with a brown, good-looking boy who was taller than me, who was excellent in Algebra and was a national volleyball player. He was my first love and it was unexpected because among the boys in my class, I hated him the most. Everything that I was good at he was always better at them. He was one of my greatest competitors since he was also good in class, in sports, in dancing, in playing the guitar…even in playing chess. Aside from that, he was my biggest bully in school. Never did a day pass that he won’t throw a mean comment at me or piss me off with his a tease.

But one day, I was surprised to see him following me while I was halfway to our home. He confessed his feelings for me, said he wanted me to be his girlfriend. At first, it was funny and awkward because we were standing in front of a gasoline station and “Gugmang Giatay” was playing in the background. I don’t know what went up to me, maybe he primed me for a long time and I agreed, in one condition: No One Has To Know. But the affair lasted for only less than 24 hours because the following morning, I noticed that my aunt, who was one of our teachers also discerned that we were leaving imaginary hearts all over the place and sending them to each other and that we were so inseparable. So I went up to him and broke up with him. At first, it was hard. I liked him but I couldn’t afford to let people know because my parents were strict and I saw how my older sister got punished for having a boyfriend when she was still in high school. You know the feeling of loneliness when you can’t see him anywhere in school, and how his smell made your heart flutter and you did your hair to make him notice you? You know, the typical high school love stories/drama.

After a year, he dated one of my best friends. That was fine because I already moved on from him. I was happy for them. He became one of my closest friends until college happened, he didn’t take the UPCAT which I believed he would have passed with flying colors. That really sucked. Now he has a girlfriend who asked him to unfriend us all in Facebook and well, we rarely talk or see each other. But good thing, he found his wavy career today. He’s a proud and hardworking marine man.

Then in college, I met this beautiful young lady with whom I also fell in love with but she was obviously out of my league. She was a rich kid, extremely free-spirited and lovable. I knew that when we started dating, she was still in the process of fixing her broken heart from a man she… well I really don’t know the story, I’m just telling this out from my past observations.

We were from the same activists’ organization in UP and it all started with a tease then followed by a day when we agreed to be each other’s girlfriends. We lasted for nine months but she had to join a fraternity and we drifted apart because we had little time for each other. Many people especially those who knew us were surprised that we dated each other because we were pretty girls, you know and they didn’t expect us to be bisexuals and sometimes there were people who asked us who was the “boy” between us and I couldn’t understand it because there was ultimately no boy between us. We dated because we liked each other, just as simple as that.

I remember when she broke up with me, I had to run to a comfort room and cried the entire afternoon there. She said I was a good friend and she didn’t want to lose me but I ended up vomiting every piece of my pride so I ignored her in school until the day I was able to move on. My friends thought I was overreacting, but damn did it hurt. So apparently, we really drifted apart. I lost her not just as a romantic partner but also as a good friend. I should be excused, I was immature back then. I don’t know, but now that I think about it, it’s true that it is one heck of an awkward situation and a huge embarrassment to send drunken texts and dramatic love shiz to an ex especially if you broke up like 3-5 months ago.  I think I have sent her a million drunken texts after we have broken up. So ew of me. The typical awkward/embarrassing college love affair.

Currently, I am dating this lovely man I met in college. We were  best friends (well not until when were in 2nd year) and he had a difficult past relationship that made him cry rivers in my shoulders for a gazillion times. After several struggles, dramatic on and off, ugly beginnings and bitter moments, as of now we’re together for almost 5 years and one of the most memorable thing (yet) that happened to us was the day we met after typhoon Haiyan destructed and killed thousands in our home town.

So the story goes like this with the setting: 2 days after Typhoon Haiyan. Of course, people were walking past me and I could hear them saying that Marasbaras (the place where he lives) was also submerged in seawater and there were a lot of dead people in Dolina (their subdivision).  I was already praying to God to keep his soul because I knew, and I experienced Haiyan’s  wrath and I lost people I loved, people I was fond of and it was possible that he too was already gone.

So for 2 days, I cried and prayed. I kept on sitting outside the house of my father’s friend who took us after Haiyan robbed our home, and I looked into every passersby’s face, hoping that one of them could be his’. Then on the 3rd day, my father decided that we will walk to our municipal town which was an hour away from the city through a vehicle and maybe a half to one day if taken by foot. We had no other option, we will starve in Tacloban. So we started walking – past the rubbles, the dead bodies in the street, the zombie-like people who have also nowhere to go, the crying women- under the rain and the sun with nothing but our clothes which we have worn since day 1. we kept on going and dragged our injured bodies home.

Then while we were still on our way, as we were passing by Robinsons’ (the town’s biggest mall) with the roads crowded with looters of all ages and types, my older sister abruptly said she saw him. She said and I quote “Adto man hi JG.” She said this so casually that it appeared to me that maybe she didn’t notice me crying my eyes out for the past 48 hours that we have been together for thinking that maybe I have lost this boy, too.

So, then after she said that, my eyes automatically scanned for him in the crowd and there he was, walking like a ghost with his black boots and his shorts folded up to his knees and his eyes were distant and his hairy face darker than usual…and suddenly he looked my way. I have never believed in love at first sight but during that time it was like we were in the movies! Everything was in slow-motion as he started his way to me, he couldn’t believe his eyes (wow, I’m such a creative writer!) then he hugged me. I hugged him back while sheepishly smiling and thanking God he was alive. Apparently, he also thought that all of us were dead because just right after the typhoon or maybe a day after, he walked from his place to check on us and all he saw what’s left to survive was our toilet bowl which sat on the septic tank, ostensibly enduring the waves.

Then minutes after our dramatic scene, my father interrupted and said (and I quote) “Uyab mo?” and I saw in his face something which was…uhm you know, fathers-know-best-face. That was waaaaay too awkward for me to be describing here. But I didn’t really care even if I felt like melting because, hey my lover’s back from the dead! Then this “boyfriend of mine” walked with us until we reached Dolina and I told him to go back to his mom because apparently he was walking with us maybe until we reached our destination. So, again we parted ways.

That moment is still obviously one of the best moments of my life despite everything that has happened to us during that difficult and trying times. I am actually thinking of sending this to Ate Charo, and the title would be “Boots”.

It’ true that love has its ways. We might fall for the right or wrong person but it is out of our choices that make them the right one or not. I may be inexperienced when it comes to variety of ex-lovers because basically I’m not the type who goes out for flings but my experiences with these people who came and have gone are already extraordinary and I cherish and learn from them. The sweet little memories are still sweet despite some bitter endings and the present is a gift that needs to be appreciated. Here’s an unsolicited advice for all of you who are into asking partners where you want to eat every now and then: choices need to be made mutually in order to make what’s at hand last, or not.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Types of Participants You’ll Meet in a Government Seminar

I got the chance to be a part of an eighteen-day training of a government department and I can’t help but notice that there are several kinds of participant in it.

Let’s start with the most common and noticeable…

1. The Valedictorians

* These are the participants who always take the mic from the speaker and share their insights about every topic/idea being discussed, like all the time.
*They are “magaling” naman and often are mas magaling pa kaysa sa speaker, but somehow over exposed.
*They pro-long the discussions, which sometimes can go out of context.
They make the hungry participants angry for delaying their lunch/dinner.
*They volunteer to do unnecessary tasks and brag about it being their forte but would later compromise their group mates who are annoyed and unwilling to participate (because they want to go home early) in finishing tasks.
*They usually complain about headaches and being busy all the time.
*Talent: Showing-off

2. The Me-ma Lang

*These are the participants who are not really bright but they just need to speak themselves out otherwise.
*Napipinsan ng mga Valedictorians, but most of their recitations are not related to the topic kaya nga me-ma (Me Masabi Lang).
*Recipients of the never-ending rolling eyes and harsh sighs of the other participants as well as comments such as “Okay na…”, “Tama na…” and “Hay, here we go again…”
*Sometimes they too have points but they just can’t deliver them right.
*Talent: Paraphrasing

3. The Commentators

*These are few of the participants who utter comments under their own breaths, like correcting mispronounced words from the speaker or a fellow participant.
*In short, grammar Nazis.
*They recite less or not at all because they want the session to end on time if not early.
*Talent: Backbiting and Eye-rolling

4. The Food-Watchers

*These are the people who ask for second servings of every meal/snack.
*Their usual lines are “Is the food here yet?” or “Tapusin na, I’m hungry already.” or “Yung malaki yung akin ha” and the likes.
*Most common question: “Sa’yo yan, kakainin mo pa ba ‘yan?”
*Talent: Complaining about the menu but eating the food anyway.

5. The Pabibo

*These are the fun people!
*They roam around the session hall even when discussions are on-going and they own several seats in the class.
*Talent: Making the other participants alive and enthusiastic through their active participation and jolly recitations.

6. The Narcoleptics

*These are the quiet people and I like them the most, personally.
*Talent: Sleeping with eyes wide open.

7. The WaKoKer

*These are the participants who usually have an attention span of ten to twenty seconds only, after that, asa pa more.
*They’re always bored.
*They usually look like swans because they’re always bent down sticking their noses to their cellphones or tabs, playing games or stalking someone on Facebook.
*They don’t care about outputs, sometimes they go out for hours and return if it’s already meal time.
*Talent: Teleporting

8. The Grumpy Pax

*These are the cranky people.
*They harbored all the negativities in life and complain mostly about everything in the training, from food to the comfort room.
*Talent: Complaining a lot.

9. The Power-Pointers

*These are the people who would volunteer others for doing a task, like reporting or presenting outputs.
*They use their pointing finger all the time.
*Talent: Bullying

10. The Ideal Type

*These are the intent listeners, full of “uhuhs” and the participative.
*They listen intently to the resource speakers, seldom commenting or asking question and participating actively in every workshop without being grumpy.
*They are bright and dynamic but won’t try shove it to everyone’s face by showing-off.
*Talent: 3-hours Attention Span and An Abyss of Patience

I belong to numbers 3, 7 and 8. I’m working my way through number 10, but definitely a number 1 hater.

Posted in Uncategorized

Taglish Chopsuey

Isang gabi, while I was reading a good book by John Grisham, my erpats suddenly butted in and asked me what I wanted to do when I get older, like after ko daw makapagtapos sa UP. At first, I couldn’t give him an upright answer because I was just 19 at that time and I was not yet into adulthood and I didn’t know what riches will Psych give me in the end so I just gave him my usual shrug as I meant to say “Di pa’k maram, Pa.” Then he said, “Pag abogada nala…” adding up a confident smile and a pat in my head.

I was astonished as to how confident he was when he said that to me since I’m not really into reading and digesting numerous cases and stuff like that and back when I was a little kid, it was the least career I wanted to take. Most importantly, I would not probably survive law school. Pero, infairness naman pag naging lawyer ang isang tao, talagang big time yun not to mention the much money he can earn by just taking in a single case. Maybe that’s why erpats wants me to pursue that path. Bilang galing sa isang mahirap na pamilya, syempre pinag-iisipan ko din naman ‘yan. I mean why not, diba? Kung mas matalino lang din ako at mapera ang mga magulang ko for some milking, pwede rin akong mag doctor. Again, why not?

At galing ako sa henerasyong Millennial. Sabi nila, tayo daw ‘yong lazy generation. We lack motivation. Biggest contributors to the ballooning world population even at our tender age. Wala tayong malalaking pangarap, madali tayong ma disappoint, puro Facebook lang and ating inaatupag, magaling lang tayong mang-bash, puro selfie, Aldub and Game of Thrones nalang bukambibig natin, walang sinabi si Rizal at Bonifacio sa mediocrity ng henerasyong ito…

Pero ‘nung sinabi sa akin yun ni Papa, para akong tinamaan ng unan sa ulo. I realized totoo talagang bilib sa atin yung mga parents natin kasi iniisip nilang we are good enough to achieve their dreams for us, and the more touching part is when they think that we actually can. Like Papa, he thinks I am super bright that I can do law. I mean, yes kaya ko ‘yan kung   1. Hindi ako tamad, 2. I am good at being bookish, 3. We/I have the money to send myself to school again.

As a person, marami din naman akong pangarap sa buhay. Hindi naman true na porket I am from this useless generation that I do not dream of becoming something someday. Hindi nga lang kalakihan ang mga dreams ko. Like pangarap ko na dapat before reaching 30, may sariling bahay at lupa na ako, or nakapag-abroad na ako (kasi working abroad is better and mas may “wow” factor than anything in the Philippines), or I have my own car, or I already travelled all the beaches in this country… Mga ganoon. Hindi naman ako kahit kalian nangarap na maging president lalo’t hindi naman ako Cojuanco o Marcos o Romualdez. Pang-elite lang yung mga ganyan. Elite na gustong yumaman pa lalo.

Pero as a millennial na galing sa Pilipinas, sasabihin ko sa inyo ang totoo for me. Talagang mahirap tuparin ang mga pangarap na ito even if they are less complicated especially if you were born without a silver spoon in your mouth. Working hard to reach whatever goals you have is the very first must. Your 16 years of education is never enough to get you anywhere high-paying aside from BPOs for example (which is a bit depressing). Maraming graduates and nagtitiis sa call centers kasi there is a lack of quality careers in this country that pay their education’s worth. If there are any, kailangan namang half of your life kang nag-aral to get them. Even in the government, kung walang master’s degree, good luck at being a JO who gets paid Php260/day forever (provincial rate), tas sa’yo lahat pinapasa kahit mabibigat na gawain, while the regulars who get paid enough plus benefits just sit and scroll on their FB pages until 5PM (not all though, thank God). Pag mag teacher o magpulis o nurse ka naman, talagang hindi ka yayaman. Kahit chalk o bala, you have to buy them yourself. Naturally, these things loses the little motivation that’s keeping our youth hold on. What future awaits for them, for us? Wala. Social media lang ang pwedeng atupagin, at least it’s far from the ugly reality na probably pangit ang future na para sa atin.

Okay, marami na akong sinabi. The point is, where am I going, really? What do I want to do when I get older? One thing people don’t notice about us Millennials is that we are a generation of existentialists. For example, I just popped out an existential question that up until now, I don’t have the answer to. “Be a housewife” is just a tremendously enticing answer to give.

We are the new generation of Nomads. Walang permanenteng trabaho. Walang kasiguraduhan. No definite personal growth and opportunities for self-actualization.  “Where ever the opportunities may be, there we will be” ang ating peg.

So Pa, give me money now and I’ll go to Beda and enroll my butt there instead of sitting in this lousy, quiet office room and wasting my time writing rubbish for my generation that’s too wasted and overloaded with too much junk already.

Oh, I remember, we’re both broke so wag nalang.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

TagLish Chopsuey

Isang gabi, while I was reading a good book by John Grisham, my erpats suddenly butted in and asked me what I wanted to do when I get older, like after ko daw makapagtapos sa UP. At first, I couldn’t give him an upright answer because I was just 19 at that time and I was not yet into adulthood and I didn’t know what riches will Psych give me in the end so I just gave him my usual shrug as I meant to say “Di pa’k maram, Pa.” Then he said, “Pag abogada nala…” adding up a confident smile and a pat in my head.

I was astonished as to how confident he was when he said that to me since I’m not really into reading and digesting numerous cases and stuff like that and back when I was a little kid, it was the least career I wanted to take. Most importantly, I would not probably survive law school. Pero, infairness naman pag naging lawyer ang isang tao, talagang big time yun not to mention the much money he can earn by just taking in a single case. Maybe that’s why erpats wants me to pursue that path. Bilang galing sa isang mahirap na pamilya, syempre pinag-iisipan ko din naman ‘yan. I mean why not, diba? Kung mas matalino lang din ako at mapera ang mga magulang ko for some milking, pwede rin akong mag doctor. Again, why not?

At galing ako sa henerasyong Millennial. Sabi nila, tayo daw ‘yong lazy generation. We lack motivation. Biggest contributors to the ballooning world population even at our tender age. Wala tayong malalaking pangarap, madali tayong ma disappoint, puro Facebook lang and ating inaatupag, magaling lang tayong mang-bash, puro selfie, Aldub and Game of Thrones nalang bukambibig natin, walang sinabi si Rizal at Bonifacio sa mediocrity ng henerasyong ito…

Pero ‘nung sinabi sa akin yun ni Papa, para akong tinamaan ng unan sa ulo. I realized totoo talagang bilib sa atin yung mga parents natin kasi iniisip nilang we are good enough to achieve their dreams for us, and the more touching part is when they think that we actually can. Like Papa, he thinks I am super bright that I can do law. I mean, yes kaya ko ‘yan kung   1. Hindi ako tamad, 2. I am good at being bookish, 3. We/I have the money to send myself to school again.

As a person, marami din naman akong pangarap sa buhay. Hindi naman true na porket I am from this useless generation that I do not dream of becoming something someday. Hindi nga lang kalakihan ang mga dreams ko. Like pangarap ko na dapat before reaching 30, may sariling bahay at lupa na ako, or nakapag-abroad na ako (kasi working abroad is better and mas may “wow” factor than anything in the Philippines), or I have my own car, or I already travelled all the beaches in this country… Mga ganoon. Hindi naman ako kahit kalian nangarap na maging president lalo’t hindi naman ako Cojuanco o Marcos o Romualdez. Pang-elite lang yung mga ganyan. Elite na gustong yumaman pa lalo.

Pero as a millennial na galing sa Pilipinas, sasabihin ko sa inyo ang totoo for me. Talagang mahirap tuparin ang mga pangarap na ito even if they are less complicated especially if you were born without a silver spoon in your mouth. Working hard to reach whatever goals you have is the very first must. Your 16 years of education is never enough to get you anywhere high-paying aside from BPOs for example (which is a bit depressing). Maraming graduates and nagtitiis sa call centers kasi there is a lack of quality careers in this country that pay their education’s worth. If there are any, kailangan namang half of your life kang nag-aral to get them. Even in the government, kung walang master’s degree, good luck at being a JO who gets paid Php260/day forever (provincial rate), tas sa’yo lahat pinapasa kahit mabibigat na gawain, while the regulars who get paid enough plus benefits just sit and scroll on their FB pages until 5PM (not all though, thank God). Pag mag teacher o magpulis o nurse ka naman, talagang hindi ka yayaman. Kahit chalk o bala, you have to buy them yourself. Naturally, these things loses the little motivation that’s keeping our youth hold on. What future awaits for them, for us? Wala. Social media lang ang pwedeng atupagin, at least it’s far from the ugly reality na probably pangit ang future na para sa atin.

Okay, marami na akong sinabi. The point is, where am I going, really? What do I want to do when I get older? One thing people don’t notice about us Millennials is that we are a generation of existentialists. For example, I just popped out an existential question that up until now, I don’t have the answer to. “Be a housewife” is just a tremendously enticing answer to give.

We are the new generation of Nomads. Walang permanenteng trabaho. Walang kasiguraduhan. No definite personal growth and opportunities for self-actualization.  “Where ever the opportunities may be, there we will be” ang ating peg.

So Pa, give me money now and I’ll go to Beda and enroll my butt there instead of sitting in this lousy, quiet office room and wasting my time writing rubbish for my generation that’s too wasted and overloaded with too much junk already.

Oh, I remember, we’re both broke so wag nalang.

Posted in LGBT, Relationships, Uncategorized

Just Saying

Heads Up: I’m posting this because I’m a bad ass like that but not as angry as I had been before, and most importantly, I am not looking for a war here, just expressing my sentiments for the sake of my freedom of speech, whatever…so maybe we can all still be friends. Apology accepted sincerely, too.

Now, proceed at your own discretion.

Let me start with the thing that this person did that offended me straight to the bones: he made an unsolicited vagina “joke.” Okay, to be more specific without making this extensive, he enumerated how vagina is called or is known in the Waray-Waray dialect (which I will opt not to put here since it might as well rub other people the wrong way.)

So, to make a short background of what really happened, he mentioned something first about “semen” and I (being online at that time) replied by advising him to be “decent”, even putting up a religious picture to make a joke out of it. But instead of doing so, he then replied by enumerating vagina’s a.k.a. in our vernacular. I’m not even sure if my reaction was valid, but all I know is that his jokes made me tick. It seemed to me that because I was telling him to be decent with his jokes in our chat box with 10+ people recipients, he was trying to rub his crudeness more to my face as if saying “You can’t tell me what to do… or … I am not doing anything wrong… or… Here, have some more of my ‘indecency’”.  I know that maybe it was just me who was taking his “jokes” seriously or I was just being overly sensitive or I was being just a bitch, but whatever it was, I felt what I felt, and I wouldn’t deny it at all. His unsolicited vagina jokes made me tick. It made me uncomfortable.

It harassed me.

Of course, I am boggled. Why would I be harassed with just those jokes, assuming that his explanation is true that he was only telling the other people in the chat box the “different ways of saying vagina in our dialect”? One reason is maybe I am just thinking I am that super smart and cynical to just nod on that unacceptable explanation or maybe he just gave out a lousy excuse to hide his true intentions (and that was to irritate me more because I gave him “censorship”.

Right from the start, I was taught that harassment is subjective.  So basically, I have all the right in the world to tell him when to stop telling “jokes” like that (if those were even considered jokes because honestly, there was nothing funny about them or if they were not “jokes” at all, maybe a “helpful” information for those who don’t know yet how to say vagina in Waray-Waray considering that some of us are from a place that speaks that dialect) because I don’t feel comfortable about it anymore, don’t I?

Now, let me talk about “censorship.” Maybe he felt offended too by what I did because I was restraining him from saying several things he wants to say including vagina jokes because:

  1. He is a teacher in a Catholic school, so apparently he can’t tell jokes like that in class;
  2. He has a decent mom/family aside from his one closest cousin, so maybe he can’t also tell jokes like that to them;
  3. We are his Psych major friends from UP and he is expecting us to be open-minded to jokes like that (most probably);
  4. And we are the only people (if assuming he has no other support group) that can listen to his lewd jokes and that he can be open with just about anything (maybe, because he can even be very dishonest with us sometimes.);
  5. Or maybe he thinks we will never be offended by his jokes because we are “friends.”

So to censor means to retrain or to confine… However, as I see it, what I did wasn’t censorship. What I did was just trying to ask him for a little politeness because it is common sense that not all people can take capricious jokes. “Dirty jokes” for example, may vary from one person to another like for me, vagina jokes are bullets well, aside from the fact that he knows I am pro-woman, all the time, at all cost. What I was asking was for him to actually give a little respect to our vaginas the way I and other LGBT supporters give respect to the LGBT and their rights and all the things that are beneficial for them. What I was asking was for him to lessen his lewdness because others  may become uncomfortable with it, especially if it was unsolicited, like me in general.

Yes, we can talk about anything under the sun, we can talk about sex, same-sex, orgy, penises and vaginas as long as its consensual and as intellectual people, perhaps we can try to be less offensive especially by  how we respond to each other. Leave the line towards hatred uncrossed.

My friends may know that I am a person who in as much as possible, tries  to understand differences in views and perspectives and accepts it without making so much fuss about it but what is harassing/offending/hurting to me will be harassing/offending/hurting to me and I will speak about it so that it may be known and be a learning experience for all that’s involve. Moreover, I strongly believe that respect begets respect. In my life, I have always been a supporter of all things that are good, not just for me but for other living and non-living creatures as well. I love LGBT and I fight for their rights in the same manner that I love women and men and children and I fight for all of our rights in life and love. But loving the LGBT does not mean that I wouldn’t get offended by their “jokes” if they meant it the other way, especially if it is from a “friend” who knows what I have always been advocating for.

And please, may I just remind all of us people who belong to whichever sector in the society (especially the LGBT which includes me as well) that being an LGBT/a man/ a woman/ a child does not give us the right to be indecent toward other people may it be from the opposite sex or different gender/race/social status/religion etc. just because we are given special privileges. What I mean by indecency is its simplest sense:

  1. Let us not be offensive toward each other.
  2. Let our jokes not cross the route toward obscenity.
  3. Most importantly, let us give other people – may they be our family, friends, acquaintances- the genuine respect that we want them to also offer us.

We are all intelligent people and I am sure we all understand what I have been trying to say in this freaking lengthy post:

Please show some decency and DO NOT insult my vagina because I would not stoop down to your level and insult your penis or your gender or your race or your religion or whatever that’d making you human, so please just SHOW SOME GUTS FOR RESPECT AND MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN.