A Lost and Torn Loser

What does it feel like to lose? Well, it hurts, that’s for sure. All your time, effort, maybe your whole self – put to waste. Every little thing that you gave up tor that one thing are gone. It’s like everything’s back to zero, except for memories. Yes, memories are priceless, but wouldn’t it be nice if you’d be making more beautiful memories if you didn’t lose that one person that you consider to be someone important to you?

I do not have a biological sister (and I really want one…not a brother) and I technically grew up with my cousins. I considered all of them as my siblings. Yet, they tested me. They failed me. I never learned to trust them well enough again. I had neighbors, and we all left our home village. Now, it’s like nothing. I love them as my own family, then everything was *poof* gone. Broken, I went on with life. I found solace in those people who were once strangers to me. Problem: what if the people who you now trust test you?

I’ve had a rough childhood, despite all those toys and high grades. If there is one thing that I want to redo, it would be my whole childhood. I felt lonely when I was a kid, despite all the people around me. I had no sense of self. I was intelligent, but I knew so little, and that innocence led me to so much pain. I was broken. Thanks to you and all of my friends, I felt that I was patched up. I felt alive and new. I became confident and independent. I felt stronger. And now, this bullshit.

Up to this day, I still don’t know why I talked to you in the first place. I didn’t even like you. It was just because of my randomness that we became friends, or that’s the way I put it. Then we talked and talked until we “grew close” just like what normal people would do. I don’t know; maybe it was only me who felt that way. But no: you asked me to wait for you, you would allow me to talk to you for an hour, you even hugged me twice in a single day. You would allow me to tell you stuff, and those stuff I don’t really tell other people (even the most trusted people in my life). You made me feel that I found a friend and a sister in you, and you know that well.

I’m not asking you to see me as your sister as well. It’s just that                                                                                                                                                                                                                      see the distance? It’s getting bigger everyday. I swear, I’m not asking you to see me as a close friend, but please… Tell me in a not-so-sudden way. It’s like you’ve suddenly lost interest in chocolate ice cream, and I’m doing what I can to make you like it again. Or am I just overreacting or assuming too much?

Look, I’m sorry for being so clingy in a way for writing this post. It’s just that I don’t want to lose people whom I thought were special to me  again. I lost my cousins. I lost my neighbors. I lost Renee, Camille and Jeera. I lost Noelle. Am I still going to lose you? I can’t lose you. I don’t want to lose you. Masakit eh. Sobra. Now, I think I’m losing myself.

~

By the way, here’s a song for you: http://soundcloud.com/closio17/torn-cover

And I haven’t done my cover of Everytime. So watch this instead. Yeah that’s for you too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YzabSdk7ZA

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Filipino National Identity

My cousin, who’s living in Sydney, texted me this morning. He’s asking for help for his final uni(versity) assessment: a 6000 word thesis on Filipino National Identity. He asked me for a classic Filipino myth or legend. At the moment I read “Filipino myth or legend”, Malakas at Maganda, Aswang, Kapre, Maria Makiling and Magayon at Ulap all came out from my memory bank. Still I knew that there were more, so I thought of replying to him via Facebook so that I could look for more, just to be sure. I’m sure that if I research, I’ll remember those tales that I learned in school.

I replied to him, and he asked me to proofread some paragraphs. I added more information about the symbolism of the Philippine flag. He also asked about the film industry here. Lastly, he asked me about the inspirational Filipinos he has chosen to work on: Ninoy and Cory Aquino. He said thanks, and he told that he’ll send me his paper. After a few hours, he called and told us that he submitted his thesis. He’s finally done with college! We congratulated him, but deep down, I pity him.

Colonialism and imperialism: these are the reasons why Filipinos today do not know their National Filipino Identity. That cousin of mine was born in Manila, then moved to Australia when he was six. I don’t blame him for not knowing basic Filipino knowledge and history. I blame society. If it weren’t for school and my yayas from the province, I wouldn’t have known those mythical creatures that I mentioned above. The stories that I grew up with were those about Disney princesses (Mulan rocks) and those pigs who built houses. It was only when I did bad when I heard about the scary mythical creatures in my land. And if it wasn’t for school, I would have known anything that I told my cousin.

Generally, I could say that most Filipinos do not value our history, culture, and our land very well. Because of foreign influences, no one knows the true Filipino. Many think that there are greener pasteurs in other lands. Well, that may be true. So they leave the land that gave life to them, and some forget it and don’t pass on the heritage to their children. We can’t blame the children for not knowing. Also, we can’t blame the parents for not passing it on because they’re busy.

I think the problem is the Filipino mentality that going abroad is better than staying in the Philippines. I am not saying that migrating to the US is bad. I still have that little vision of going to Spain (since I’m learning Spanish) and be an English language teacher there. What I’m saying is that we need to repay the mother land even if we are away. We can do so by spreading knowledge about it, especially to the young Filipinos abroad. They should know about the mother land, even if they’re half American, a quarter Puerto Rican and only a quarter Filipino.

The problem is not only to some Filipinos abroad who are now US or Australian citizens. The problem is also with the people who are in the Philippines but know so less about it. Yes, Philippine History is required in schools, but one cannot learn about a culture without experiencing it. I pity my classmates who know a few about our culture, especially those games I used to play in the streets. I pity those kids who know little Filipino and who would curse in Tagalog without knowing its meaning. I pity the kids who can’t eat rice with their bare hands or at least eating a full meal with only a spoon. I pity the kids who say that they are proudly Pinoy but patronize those expensive foreign clothing brands. I get irritated with those conyo kids in my school, but I pity them too. They’ve had too much of Western culture in their heads.

Western influence is needed, but not to excess. We forget our Filipino identity because of the things we see and hear. I think all of us should reflect and ask ourselves at the end of each day: was I a Filipino today, or was I a person of the West? Peoples in the West are proud of our heritage, and they truly show it to the world. How come we Filipinos can’t do the same? With what we have, we should let the world know that the third world country in NOT the real Philippines.

I listened to a speech back in first year for English class. The woman said that she would go seek greener pasteurs in foreign lands, but she would come home and share what she learned to her people. I hope that all Filipinos would have this mentality. The land that nurtured and nourished us deserves some nurturing and nourishing from us as well.

When I was young, I played outside and with my dolls. I rarely used the Sony PlayStation (and I only played Tomb Raider and Tarzan when I use it… I always drowned Lara Croft). I would play house and pretend to be the mother of my cousins. Now that I have little cousins and technology is way better than before, I feel bad for the kids who have iPads at the age of seven and Blackberry phones at 10. I get irritated when I see a group of kids playing…with their handheld consoles. I’m not irritated because I didn’t have those before, but because they’re all together playing with their gadgets!

I truly believe that the times before the current were better, when it comes to childhood. Playing in the streets was the best part of being a kid, not getting a high score in Temple Run or Angry Birds. The best game I ever played in my whole life is hide and seek. Sure kids still play it, but I’m only sure with those kids who have parents that can’t afford a PSP.

Well, maybe parents buy gadgets for their kids so that they’d be happy when the parents are not around… These parents are always not around… And maybe because these kids are the only kids in the neighborhood. Baka hindi na rin talaga uso ang pakikipagkapitbahay ng mga bata sa panahon ngayon.

Now why this sudden post? My little cousins fight because they both want to play with my iTouch. I didn’t lend it to them because the iTouch’s being a b*tch. Both of them cried and expressed hate towards me because I wouldn’t lend them. See the dependence to technology? (was that correct grammar? Forgive me I’m on my semestral break) I mean, we all need technology, but I think this is too much. As I am writing this, my eight year old cousin is searching for videos on YouTube. Brilliant, but he chose the laptop over the book beside him.

Kids nowadays… I really pity them. I really wish that I could teach these kids how to play the games that I loved as a child. How I wish we were also many so that it would be more fun. How I wish that there were more kids in my grandma’s neighborhood. I used to have a lot of playmates in this place… Hindi lang talaga ako natutong magbike.

I Declare Myself A Slightly Normal Teenager

What do normal teenagers do nowadays? Let’s see… They come over to a friend’s house, play video games, fan-girl over celebrities/models/cute singers, dance like there’s not tomorrow, watch TV shows that are all about relationships, secrets and lies, hang out in malls, wear certain kinds of clothes, stay up late because of random stuff, read books that I’ve never heard of (because they’re mainstream and they’re young adult novels, which means they’re all about love, friendship and living life to the fullest), and other stuff.

Yesterday, I came over to a friend’s house right after school for the first time. Yes, third year is the year of first times! Wait, I mean first time to come over after school… Anyway, it was fun to dance like there’s no tomorrow and “wrestle” with your friends, and to be forced to eat even if you’re starving to death. They declared me the dancing queen, and my knee ached. We looked through my friend’s baby pictures and laughed at the photo editing back in the 90s. It was also fun to have my future family (composed of stuffed toys and a pillow… I am the mother and the stuffed toys were my children and Batman was my husband) there. And it was so fun to play with a hula hoop after six years! Turtles are cute too!

I have no photo to show you, but yeah =)) I had so much fun yesterday! And I also got to “play” a violin! I wonder who took a photo of me… I love my friends!

~

Yes, I am a slightly normal teenager. I don’t hang out in malls, read adult fiction, watch TV shows about secrets, lies and relationships (I only watch Glee), fan-girl over people, and other normal teenage stuff.  I’m weird, and I know that.