Saturday, November 25, 2006

Of Being Pinoy

I was born and raised in Manila, the place where Filipino is most corrupt. By “Filipino” I mean both the language and the people.

It is my excuse for my poor mastery of my first language. I know I should be ashamed for not understanding the words lumagom, ilaw-dagitab, wating-wating, untag, bagol, lukbutan, gora, and natulig—all of which I got from Efren R. Abueg’s Mabangis na Lungsod, a short story I read back in high school. Thanks to my brother who has a penchant for leaving his things at random places in the house, I got a chance to refresh my memory with the story whose title I often use to refer to Manila.

However, I do love Manila—Intramuros to be exact. If there is one thing I enjoy about being my sister’s maid of honor, it will be having an excuse to visit Intramuros. It probably is what Rizal meant by “primordial sense of belonging.” I somehow feel attached to Intramuros having been born in Manila. Then again, it is Intramuros. Who wouldn’t want to explore its rich terrain and history?


Don’t think that I am kidding when I say that I learned English from Sesame Street because it really is how I learned Uncle Sam’s words. It is very rare that we speak in English at home. As far as my family is concerned, Filipino and Cebuano has been our vernacular. Note the “Cebuano.” The little Cebuano my mom uses have contributed to the slight “distortion” of my Filipino (or should I say “Tagalog?”), along with a number of gay and kanto words, thus my incapacity to speak and write in straight Filipino which is bad, especially for a UP graduate.

But my half-mutilated Filipino language is the least of my worries for now. There is the Filipino people I have to deal with.

For all good reasons, I try to hang on to my faith in our kababayans. I cannot inhabit my country and at the same time loathe its people. Plus I still believe that despite every Pinoy’s shortcomings as a citizen of this nation, deep inside he has that heart of gold with “Made in the Philippines” carved on it.

So call me naïve. If that’s what it takes to have hope in our people. If that’s what it means to choose to believe that the reason why an alarming number of Juan’s and Maria’s are migrating abroad is to bring in more dollars to their Inang Bayan rather than to run away. If that’s the price I have to pay for preferring to count the number of smiles I get from our brown-skinned fellowmen instead of taking note of their grunts.

Yet, the Filipino psyche puzzles me. And sometimes, it saddens me.

Last Wednesday, I went to the mall to look for a lotion or a moisturizer that would heal a dry patch on my skin. To my dismay, around 98% of the products I saw claimed that they will make my skin whiter. I had no intentions of having “fairer” skin but, apparently, beauty product manufacturers assume that a Filipino buyer would, more or less, want to become lighter than s/he is. Colonial mentality has consumed our people’s vanity so much that it has begun messing with the Pinoy melanin. If you think about it, it is quite disturbing.

I found my moisturizer with no “whiteners” printed on its label. Hopefully, there is no whitening ingredient in it, too. As I was about to pay for it, I noticed that a beige purse was left unattended on the cashier’s counter, which I found weird because the purse is almost the same size as a tiny ladies’ bag and what kind of a lady would ever leave her bag on a cashier’s counter?

I informed the female bagger of the purse which she previously thought was mine. I swear, she tried to listen to the bag before she kept it. I would have done the same thing, I guess, because the possibility that the bag contained a bomb of sorts did cross my mind. And two people with whom I shared this story with thought so, too. So there goes the applaud-worthy Pinoy honesty and the depressing repressed fear for Pinoy security.

The mall did not explode after I stepped out of it and, thank God, it remains intact until now. Still the more “explosive” part of my story is about to come.

That same night, I happened to ride an FX with two guys sitting on the bench parallel me and the lady beside me. It would have been a normal ride home had it not for the older guy telling the driver to drop them off to Danny Floro. I have lived in Pasig long enough to know that Danny Floro is Pasig’s motel strip. I am aware that it is none of my business to scrutinize the guy, who, as perceived by my gaydar, is gay. To be clear about it, I do not have a thing against homosexuals and their indiscretions, heaven knows why but that is beside the point.

Last Wednesday’s incident especially bothered me because of whom the gay guy was with. It was not just some guy; it was a boy, probably one third his age. And by the look on the boy’s face, I do not think he had a vivid idea of what he was getting himself into. The whole trip, he tried to tuck his head on his lap, or the old gay guy’s left lap—I am not really sure which. I was hoping that I was judging them incorrectly. I was silently wishing that they prove me wrong. But they got off in front of one of the motels so what was I to think?

Yes, this thing happens to different parts of the world, but I was not prepared to witness it in my own country. Maybe the gay guy and the boy were in a relationship—neither of them was forced to get off the FX and step into the motel. Maybe both of them get something from each other. I would not really know. Still, these thoughts will not appease me and I am just a spectator.

They say that last week during Manny Pacquiao’s final battle with Eric Morales, the crime rate dropped to zero. Imagine if the fight lasted 12 rounds—how long that would have bought us peace, how those 12 rounds would have kept us from screwing up. Pacquiao’s gloved fist fight somehow proved that we Filipinos can be united and civilized. Ironically, it is a legal, violent form of sport that held us together. And during the whole three rounds, the time when Filipinos seemed to have behaved themselves, I kept uttering in between my faux sobs, “barbaric!”

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Confessions of a Dancing Queen

Houston, we have a problem: Kailangan kong sumayaw!

Magiging plastic ako kung sasabihin kong ayaw kong sumayaw dahil gusto ko naman. I really do. Ang problema, ayaw ng sayaw sa akin.

I find myself faced in a constant dilemma. And it has something to do with my anatomy, probably due to a loose wiring in one of the lobes of my brain: Kailangan kong pumili which extremity ang sasabay sa beat—yung upper or lower—hindi pwedeng both. For some reason, hindi talaga kaya. So patay talaga!

Noong bata pa ako, bibu-bibuhan naman ako. Sayaw kung sayaw! Minsan din akong sinabihan ng tita ko na may future ako sa pag-indak. May kakayahan daw kasi akong sumunod sa rhythm.

Sandali namang nagkatotoo ang sinabi niya. Mula grade 1 hanggang grade 3 ay naging cheer dancer ako. (Hehe. Peachy Crystal Girls, doo-bee-doo dum dum!) Tapos naging aktib ako sa mga dance numbers noong grade 4 and 5. Tapos, ayon! Napagdesisyonan kong mag-lie low sa dancing at magtago behind the scenes.

Pero siyempre, wala akong takas sa pagsasayaw. Madalas kasing lesson sa PE ang iba’t ibang klase ng sayaw kagaya ng folk dancing na minsan kong isinumpa. Pohtek! First year high school na ako, pinag itik-itik pa ako! Eh talent lang iyon ng mga bata sa Little Miss Philippines, eh. Then there’s the ballroom dancing na good luck na lang sa partner ko kung paano niya ako papasunurin. Hindi naman ako bumagsak sa PE so I guess, hindi naman ako ganoong kasama sumayaw. (Or then again pwedeng naawa lang sa akin ang teacher ko.)

During high school required kaming lahat maging part ng pep squad. Yung mga graceful and elastic (I mean, flexible) nagiging cheer dancers. Again, let me say na seryoso ang cheering competition sa St.Paul, Pasig kaya hindi biro ang maging cheer dancer. Yung mga sporty, nagiging players. May special participation lang sila sa cheering. Sa isang kanta lang sila papasok, unlike the pep squad and the cheer dancers na the whole 30 minutes ay nagkakakanta at nagsasasayaw. Needless to say, yung mga di pumasang dancers at players ay bumabagsak na pep.

Pero yon OK lang sa akin. Masaya namang maging part ng pep squad. Lalo na kapag pep squad ng batch namin! Hehe. Naaalala ko na ang favorite na lugar namin kung saan kami nag-papractice ay sa red tiles kapag nasa loob ng campus at sa Green Meadows naman kapag nasa labas. Somehow, may swerteng dala sa amin ang Green Meadows. Na-try na din namin sa Green Park, covered court ng White Planes, clubhouse ng Valle 2 (or 1?) at sa basketball gym ng Acropolis. (By the way, sa clubhouse ng Acropolis ako nakatakdang sumayaw. Yikes!) Pero talagang mas gusto ng batch namin sa Green Meadows.

Segue lang. One time habang nag-break kami sa practice, natripan kong mag-swing with my friends. Eh nabore na ako sa conventional way of “swinging” kaya naisip kong ilipat ang kamay ko from holding the swing’s tali to holding the inverted Y part, connected to my seat. Siyempre tumaob ang swing. Napa-back roll ako. Next thing I knew, nakahiga na ako sa damp grass at ang natatanaw ko ay ang ant’s eye-view ng seat ng swing. At dahil wala akong extra shirt, the whole day akong may putik sa likod. Kaya yata extra memorable sa akin ang Green Meadows dahil doon.

Back to the dance, kinakareer ko rin naman noon ang routine ng pep squad (in fairness). Masaya kase. Enjoy! Plus, mga 200-300+ naman kami kaya hindi nakakahiyang sumayaw.

Ngayon, eight lang kami. Brighter side: one-minute exposure lang. Pero OK lang talaga. At least now I found something that will make me nerbyus again. May pagka-sucker for stage fright kasi ako. Masaya para sa akin ang kabahan dahil pupunta ako sa stage.

Isa sa mga regrets ko ang di ko pag-sali sa cast ng mga play sa UPLB. Well, except dun sa chamber theater namin na parang street play kung saan ako yung roving narrator (memorized lines yon—something which is a challenge to my forgetful brain). Pero culminating activity kasi yon so no choice ako. Nga pala nagkalat ako doon sa dance part ng chamber theater namin. Bakit ba kasi kailangan pa naming sumayaw for that?!

Hindi sa auditorium yon so it doesn’t count. Noong naging stage manager naman ako, in one of our rehearsals, may pasaway na Moon Dancer na di nagsabi na aabsent siya. I had to learn her part in 15 minutes. Mabuti na lang at supportive ang iba pang Moon Dancers. Tinuruan nila akong sumayaw. Pero kahit sa D. L. Umali Hall yon, rehearsal lang siya. Somehow nilimit ko ang sarili ko sa backstage. Ayan tuloy hindi ko na-feed mabuti ang aking star complex!

So this is it! The chance to satisfy my frustration has come. And of course, I’ll seize it.

I’ll seize it with my dignity intact, I hope.

COMMENTS:

sasayaw ka sa FDC Christmas party? ows? ;p
Posted by: Kate | November 23, 2006 09:07 PM

Believe it or not, oo, kate and I am hoping that you will go dance with us, too. Masaya yon!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 25, 2006 04:41 AM

Gusto ko yung "Scissors" (o Scissorhands?). Eto lang ata kaisa-isang chance ko na magawa ko ang dance step na yun (medyo weird nga naman kung sasayawin yun elsewhere, gaya ng debut ng pinsan o sa club). Go, go, go! masaya nga! :)
Posted by: Ody | November 25, 2006 06:01 AM

Goodluck tyrene! haha natawa ako sa swing story mo! anong year tayo nun? bat di kita nakita? hahaha! naalala ko rin tuloy mga hs PE classes natin with itik itik and all that crap! goodluck! galingan mo! tayo mo bandera ng batch98 pep! hahahah! balitaan mo kami uli!
Posted by: Christmas | November 25, 2006 10:28 AM

Gud luck talaga sa akin! Second year tayo noong nahulog ako sa swing, the same time na naging manager kita...sina Corina, Jane and Cyn Clare and naalala kong witnesses--mahusay talagang mga kaibigan...pinagtawanan ako! I remember na ikaw ang partner ko doon sa swing--as in the ballroom dance practical test. Hehe. I hope walang kang namatay na toe nails dahil sa akin!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 25, 2006 08:43 PM

Grabe naalala mo pa talaga! Ako di ko na nga maalala kung sino teacher natin nun! at kung sino sinong partners ko... naalala ko lang na may PE na pinatakbo tayo up and down ng gym na sobrang kapagod. first year ata yun. second year though, masaya un, i think i remember isa sa mga pep pracs naten sa busport e habang nagiintay ng practice dun tayo umupo sa tabi ng mere maria at nagtatawanan. di ko na maalala sino sino kasama naten. kaw ba partner ko nun sa pep?! hmmm...
Posted by: ChRiStMaSII | December 9, 2006 08:39 AM

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

When Cyberbobo Went Online and Cried Help

Sometimes I worry that by nurturing a life in cyberspace, I am detaching myself from real people. That sitting in front of the monitor is tantamount to retreating to an alternate Achilles’ tent. That the more I improve on my internet proficiency, the better my antisocial skills become.

But my fears are not enough reasons for me to pull myself away from this wonderful gift of technology. It is a bit too late for me to run. Somehow the internet has become a vital part of me.

Akala ko Techie ka?” I got that once from a friend of mine after admitting that I knew zilch about the internet. I was a self-confessed cyberbobo. If it were not for a paper in my Humanities II class I would not have dared to go online—by myself.

Yes, I was a late internet bloomer. I had computer classes since the seventh grade but the World Wide Web did not hit much of my side of the globe until I was on my senior year in high school. Then, as I have said, college happened.

The internet saved my life a number of times in college. It had been one of my tools for research, a source of entertainment, a way of connecting with old friends, and an effective means to submit my papers on time.

I found my present job in the traditional classified ads but it found me through the net as I opted to send my résumé via email. Then there is my sister who moved to Singapore a year ago with whom I regularly chat with, not to mention exchange emails with. Whenever we feel like seeing each other, we just plug in our webcam then go online. With that the world becomes smaller again.

It is an amazing thing the internet does, pulling people together. And I am a dumb-founded witness to that power.

A few months ago, Nichi, my youngest brother who has leukemia, suffered severe complications due to his damaged immune system. He is 12 years old and none of us in the family was prepared to see our giant baby almost lifeless in the Intensive Care Unit of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).

The whole ordeal was both physically and emotionally straining not only to Nichi but to our whole family as well. Add to those torments the financial side of our battle. As real life would have it, my family does not own a land, a house, a car or even a carabao—any of which we could have sold or pawned just to settle our hospital bills and ensure Nichi’s continuous treatment.

Not knowing what else I could do, I turned to the PC and the internet, and composed a letter pleading for help from people who knew me and from people who do not even know I exist. I sent my letter to different individuals and organizations night after night hoping that someone would finally respond to my cry for help.

Soon after, several classmates of mine from college replied, followed by a classmate in grade school, then an ex-officemate, a friend of a fellow GMA intern, different sets of family friends, friends from United Laboratories, friends of friends, and so on and so forth until a network of people had offered their help. Even strangers willingly sent their assistance. World Vision, for one, did contact me and gave their pledge. (Yes, everyone, World Vision really do what they say they do! So I suggest that you do not ignore their stalls in malls. If you have money to spare, by all means, coordinate with them.)

I also received a phone call from a doctor who was one of the first people to read my letter. He was so generous in suggesting means by which we could find aid and he, too, promised his support. Before our conversation ended, I tried getting his contact number only to find out that he was calling from Texas, USA, thus explaining the poor telephone connection. Knowing that he went through all the trouble just to reach me was enough for me to thank him probably for as long as I live.

Even until today, I receive emails, text messages and phone calls from people whose hearts were touched upon hearing about what happened to Nichi. And the help that has been pouring in has not yet ceased. They come in the form of prayers, suggestions for alleviating Nichi’s situation, words of support and monetary assistance.

Some of Nichi’s bruises have not yet completely vanished and most of his veins that collapsed because of injections, transfusions and IV lines have not yet fully recuperated. But his spirit is up again. We only have to remind him of the people who are rooting for his fast recovery—friends and strangers with whom we got in touch with mostly through the internet.

Still I remain wondering how my message reached these people—how many degrees of friends it went through for them to receive it. My letter had been forwarded to as far as a community in Canada to as close as one of Nichi’s doctors at PCMC. When you think about it, it is more than amazing.

Contrary to my fear, I found people, lots of real people through the internet. By logging in to the web, I did not retreat but found a whole army that would back me up with my family’s battle. By going online, I was introduced to a better side of humankind—the generous, caring and charitable kind.

Now you see why I am glad I did not run away from this wonderful gift of technology? Through the internet I found help that somehow saved my brother. Along with that I discovered angels among people I was afraid I was isolating myself from.

I was once a self-confessed cyberbobo.

I went online and cried for help.

I found more than I was looking for.

COMMENTS:

now this, deserves --yet another-- print space in the youngblood section of the inquirer.
that was very detached, yet poignant, tye. parang ikaw, and that is what makes you a real writer.
did that make any sense. who cares at this point? that essay was smashing!
Posted by: Nikka | November 17, 2006 09:46 AM

Thanks, Nikka! I really hope to get THAT space!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 18, 2006 11:58 AM

nice :)
Posted by: Kate | November 18, 2006 10:10 PM

wow tye! e2 na ba ung entry mo dpat? hmm... i agree with nikka. galing! o, seryosohan na talaga ang writing mode natin ah... go tye!
Posted by: Joan Gracy | November 23, 2006 06:02 PM

Thanks, Jo! Sa wakas nakapag-comment ka rin dito. :-)
Posted by: Tyrene | November 25, 2006 04:36 AM

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Taking In The Punch

Never in my life have I been punched in the face before. Not until two weeks ago when my officemate’s fist hit my nose by accident (or so I think) thereby causing an uncontrollable flow of tears in the middle of Divisoria. Yes, it would count as crying in public. And there is no place more public than Divisoria. How embarrassing is that? If only those tears will free me of a few of my emotional baggage, then I wouldn’t have to ask Nikka for one precious Prozac or Lowny for a dose of lason. (Battik wonders: Bakit sosyal ang kay Nikka? And, Lowny, nasaan na ang lason na expired and mas effective?)

I was afraid that my nose will go sore because if it did, I would surely end up looking like a Jew. No offense to Jews out there. I am just not into looking like someone I’m not.

Speaking of someone I’m not, I am being dragged deeper and deeper into this wedding thing that if I am not careful I would end up a full time maid-of-honor, someone I am not. I have reasons to believe that I was never designed to become one. I lack the aptitude and the attitude. I am afraid that my being trapped in this maid-of-honor uniform has turned me into the whiner I shouldn’t be. Que horor!

I had this instructor in college who had an exceptional gift for relentless whining. Every meeting he would give us a litany of why life sucks. One time, I tried saving the class from him bursting our the-world-can-be-a-better-place bubble. I told him that if he is not happy doing what he does, he ought to find something else to do. Something he’d rather like. To which he retorted, “But we cannot always do everything we like (or something to that effect).” I bounced back by saying, “well you shouldn’t settle.”

Heaven knows I would crucify myself if I become him. Yes, I do whine and even proceed on ranting, but I see to it that I do both activities in moderation. Plus I try not to get stuck with a half empty glass. I am capable of acknowledging the glass’ half full part. Thus, at the end of the day, I manage to smile and laugh longer than I whine and rant.

Besides, I can find ways to do what I like. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to escape not doing what I don’t want to do. (That’s three negatives in one sentence! This is bad.)

Sheesh, what wonders can words do! And semiotics is not even half of it. Yet semiotics has placed me in trouble more than once. I had to report on the subject three times during college at three different classes. It’s all part of the grand Communication Arts scheme—realizing the power of signs.

Dammit, I wasn’t a Comm. Arts graduate for nothing! I am capable of recognizing signs and significants even if I seem not to and even if society tells me not to. I can read between the lines, maybe not the lines of poems but of things all around me. I can tell why a certain thing is placed in a certain scene of a certain movie. I can explain why a certain author used a certain word in a certain story. Hell, I can even say why a certain part of a certain building is placed in a certain spot.

The key is deconstruction.

And you know what? It works in real life, too. By breaking into parts another’s actions, words or illustrations you will discover messages, underlying meanings. And I tell you, the things conveyed by each existing sign get more and more interesting depending on the degree of their explicitness. I would give you a concrete example but it will blow the implicitness of my point, thereby taking away your interest. So there goes.

The dilemma now is whether to acknowledge the meanings you have unearthed. I did that once and I ended up like a fool for putting meaning to something which according to them meant nothing. (Battik’s note:The withholding of them’s antecedent is intentional.) Recently I decided to trash a set of messages I decoded through deconstruction in the hopes of saving myself from becoming a fool more than once in my lifetime. Unfortunately I may have hurt somebody’s feelings in the process, not to mention mine. Hence the troubles caused by semiotics.

Now I realize why signs proliferate. Humans often chicken out and hide behind signs. Too bad signs more often than not are arbitrary. (Allow me to say this: Is it just me or am I beginning to sound like a textbook? Feel free to comment.) Therefore hiding behind signs has its consequences.

At this point I shall succumb to explicitness. I too am chicken that’s why I am abusing signs. I have been abusing signs from the beginning of this essay up to this point, and maybe beyond. I really am taking in the punch, not only the physical punch but the punch I hid in the signs I just abused.

So there goes.

COMMENTS

About the maid-of-honor bit...hindi ko pa man din napopost itong entry na ito, nakatanggap na ako ng offline yahoo message from no other than the bride herself. And the message is this: http://www.classyweddingfavors.com/reception-MaidHonor-Duties.htm
Ang husay!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 12, 2006 01:21 AM

tye, wala nang prozac sa medicine cabinet namin, pero wag mag-alala, meron namang rugby sa tool box, life is good ka na non.
by the way, nasuntok din nga pala kita isang gabing natulog ka sa dorm.
Posted by: Nikka | November 12, 2006 07:14 AM

how i wish i can be a maid-of-honor before i become a bride.. but no chance at all, i have a month to go. it would be an honor for me to be chosen as one, especially if it was by my sister. it would hurt me if my sister had chosen somebody else. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that i would not miss.
-ate win
Posted by: Win and Wah | November 15, 2006 08:41 AM

I get what you mean, I really do. But even you would attest that I am not delivering the best of "maid of honoring" which makes me feel even more of a loser that I already am. If only you will get what I mean...
Posted by: Tyrene | November 18, 2006 12:03 PM

Friday, November 3, 2006

Points sa paligid ng Clichés

Naloloka na yata ang aking hormones. Feeling nila, buntis ako. Ano ba’t tuwing umaga na lang e nasusuka ako. Morning sickness ba ito? Tapos, yung usok na ibinubuga ng tambutso ng mga jeep na dati ko namang nalalanghap ay exceptionally nakakasuka rin.

Naiisip ko tuloy, ganoon na ba kalala ang buhay ko at pati katawan ko ay nasusuka na sa bawat pagsikat ng araw na sinasalubong ko? Psychosomatic ba ito? Depression na kaya talaga ito o gawa gawa ko lang?

Noong Biyernes bago ngayon, nagkaroon kami ng mini costume event sa opisina. Halloween kasi. Marahil KJ ako dahil hindi ako nakilahok—hindi man lang ako naghagilap ng kahit ano na magmumukhang costume. Gayunpaman, hindi man ako nagbihis ng anumang pang Halloween, nagcooperate naman ang aura ko dahil buong araw akong zombie mode. Maski yung isa kong kaopisina ay napansin ang aking zombie-like aura. Gising ako, naglalakad pero ika nga ay, “nobody’s home.”

Bakit ganito? Buhay pa ako ay namamatay na ako. Para akong UP student na naka-enrol pero hindi pumasasok. Bawat araw na lumilipas ay nasasayang. Naalala ko tuloy nang pagalitan ako ng College Sec namin. Nag-AWOL kasi ako then nagtangkang bumalik. Sabi nya sa akin, sinasayang ko ang slot ko gayong ang daming gustung-gustong makapasok sa UP.

She has a point. Na-gets ko sya doon. Kaya nga pinagbuti ko noong tanggapin niyang muli ang prodigal student. Ako ‘yon. And indeed, UPLB was sweeter the 2nd time around.

Noong estudyante pa ako (Mga P3.25 pa lang ang pamasahe noon. And yes, inabot ko ang P2.00 student fare!) Nangangarag din naman ako sa school work. Pero hindi ako ganito ka-exhausted.

Pwede sigurong dahil iyon sa fresh air sa LB kaya di ako masyadong namamatayan ng neurons noon. Hence, naiiwasan ang zombie tendencies. Or then again, mas bata pa ako noon kaya mas fighter pa ang katawan ko. Mas tolerant pa ako sa physical, psychological and emotional pambubugbog ng forces of nature.

Pero ewan ko. Sa UPLB may panahon ako to stop and smell the flowers. Kaya siguro napapagod man ako, narerejuvinate din agad ang energy ko. Ngayon tira lang ng tira. Leave na lang ang sagot kapag di na kaya ng katawan.

Sa UPLB sagana ako sa freedom. Maski breakfast, lunch at dinner ko ay bahala ako sa buhay ko. Walang pipigil sa akin kahit all day junk food ang kainin ko. Problema ko na iyon kung di ko hugasan ang mga pinagkainan ko, di ko walisin ang dorm ko o di ko iligpit ang hinigaan ko. Kahit umuwi pa ako ng pasado alas 12 o kinabukasan na ng tanghali ako umuwi, OK lang. Walang mag-aalala sa akin. At wala akong aalalahaning nag-aalala sa akin. Syempre alam ko na ang mga panahon na iyon, ang mga carefree days ko sa LB, ay magbabackfire din. Ang somewhat hedonistic lifestyle ko sa probinsiya ng Los Baños will someday run after me and bite me in the ass. Kaya ito na nga. Minumulto na ako.

Siguro kapag nabasa ng mga kabarkada ko sa UPLB ang 1st paragraph ng entry na ito, sasabihan ako ng mga iyon, “feeling mo naman may matres ka?” As if naman hindi na-aaffirm buwan-buwan na “yes, iha, meron ka nun!” Oo madalas namimiss ko ang usapang bading na ganyan usually ang flow. Maski ang aking gay vocabulary ay namamatay na dahil sa kakulangan ko sa exposure sa mga babaeng may kakayahang maging bakla. (Paging Nikka and Luna, and Sarifah na rin, iligtas nyo ako sa apoy ng straightness!)

Recently napanood ko ang ilan sa mga outtakes ng Ms. Congeniality. May isang eksena doon kung saan tinanong ang character ni Sandra Bullock ng daddy niya kung lesbian ba siya. Sabi niya, “I wish.”

She has a point. Na-gets ko sya doon. Napaka-convenient ngang maging tibo. Para kapag may nagtanong sa iyo ng, “Bakit hanggang ngayon wala ka pa ring boyfriend?” May isasagot ka na. “Kasi po tibo ako.” O kaya naman kapag may nagtanong ng, “Ikaw, kailan ka susunod (sa Ate mong ikakasal)?” Pwede mong sabihin, “Naku po, wala pong nagkakasal ng tibo dito sa atin!”

Now that I think about it, magandang idea nga yata iyan. Maisagot nga sa mga taong nag-aakalang nakakatuwa ang mga ganyang tanong. Tingnan natin kung ilan ang mabibiktima ko sa December. Op course I will laugh the loudest because mine will be the last.

Laugh, that is.

Sayang lang nga at hindi ako tibo. Alam ko naman iyon. My gahd, after 26 years I should know! Apparently hindi naapektuhan ng 11 years ko sa all-girls school ang aking sexual orientation. Maski mommy ko alam na straight ako. Tinanong ko kasi siya, “Ma, hindi kaya ako tibo?” Ang sagot niya ay something like, “OK ka lang? Ikaw? Tibo?”

You’ve got to hand it to my mudra! Speaking of mudra, nakakainggit ang mudra ko (mudra = mommy) kapag natutulog. Talagang detached siya sa mundo. Ako naman lately ay hindi nagkakatulog. Hindi naman ako inlab. Nyehe! But why? Konting puyat pa at tighiyawat sa ilong at sa pisngi ay pihadong dadami. (Yes, go Vina Morales, Go!)

Bad trip talaga ang tigahiyawat lalo na kung 26 ka na. Hindi na kasi cute. Kadiri na siya. Hindi na dapat nagkaka-zit ang mga tao kapag above 25 na sila. Pwede bang i-appeal sa kalikasan iyan? Kasing bad trip yan ng mga walang pakundangang tanong sa iyong non-existent love life. O kaya naman ng mamatay habang buhay ka. O ng maglakad na parang zombie. O ng masuka tuwing umaga.

Pero walang tatalo sa ka-bad tripang dulot ng mapagkamalan kang buntis gayong busog ka lang. Si-yet!!

COMMENTS

you have to try and sit in with the Marketing people (Ody Benz Kath and Ces)
ma-e-exercise ang bakla-speak mo (lalo na siguro kung nandoon pa si Rianne)
napakaaga magdeteriorate ng katawan natin dahil sa substance abuse (MSG galore)at sedentary lifestyle (upo sa opisina, upo sa jeepney, upo/higa sa bahay)
Posted by: Poli | November 3, 2006 07:41 AM

ako rin! luna! save us from the fiery pits of STRAIGHTNESS!
tye, ikaw yata ang soulmate ko at hindi si joy. you know, the issue of slow death and the perpetual discussion about my sexual orientation and all.
basta pag may nagtanong kung may boyfriend ka, sabihin mo nonchalantly
"girlfriend po".
tapos sabay blurt out ng...
"charot" then walk away
tignan ko lang kung hindi sila ma-confuse and all kung bading ka ba o tibam. ewan ko, but it works for me! shiyat-up agad sila dun.
bochogs of the world unite! skinny bitches should die! die you maggots!
bitter ba ko?!!
Posted by: Nikka | November 4, 2006 07:23 AM

Suddenly I remembered my long walks in LB. The best yon especially this time of year.
Hay...na-senti ako lalo.
About your suggestion, it's some kinda weird talking gay with my uniform on. Parang di bagay kay "Ma'am" mag-bakla talk. Even "teacher" thinks so.
Posted by: Tyrene | November 6, 2006 06:57 AM

Nikka, tunay na napapatawa mo ako sa mga comments mo. I should try your advice.
Kala ko si Athan soulmate ni Joy...Julio't Julia remember?
(Andami namang soulmate ni Joy. Hehe.)
Shet, Nikka, kung soulmates tayo, baka tayo magkatuluyan. Patay!
Di ko carry!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 6, 2006 07:02 AM