Capital A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E

It’s 10:19 PM here in Thailand and I’m still wide awake. I just finished a movie – animated one and “The Boss Baby” to be specific plus the third episode of a Top Model Search on TV where two Filipina top Model aspirants were both in the bottom 2 this week. I’m quite an avid fan of this show which transformations of women can be seen and the exceedingly powerful personalities of ladies from different countries of Asia are being showcased.

However, as this show was running right before my eyes as I watched it on my Mac screen, I felt the outburst of writing this. I felt the shame as one of the Filipina models who were both in the bottom 2 tried to pull the other Filipina down. How shameful was it to see that every time she would talk ill about her co-Filipina competitor, the banner that says she’s from Philippines too would flash on the screen and over millions of people are watching and witnessed the disgraceful attitude of “crab mentality”. Instead of helping and encouraging one another, one would pull the other down to be able to climb up on top. Thinking that by pulling the other down, she could easily be on the top of even more deserving girls who are all vying for the title as well. I’m quite disappointed by her attitude and her intolerable overrated self-confidence just brought her down. She was then eliminated at the end of the episode and the person she was wishing to be eliminated remained in the competition.

The disappointment was just too much to bear because I was expecting that it would be the other way around. I’m pretty sure I’m not being so idealistic. I’m just quite hopeful that in one way or another, in this show maybe, the camaraderie and synergy among Filipinos could be made known and made clear to the world. I was hoping that, since they are both rooted from the same land, they would bring out the best culture of their motherland.

(Sigh) I just pray that, one day, all of us will be less tactless, will be less selfish and will be less self-serving. I pray that, a day will come, that even in a competition and in all the seasons of life, we’ll find ourselves self-denying and humble enough and not demeaning other people. I pray that my countrymen will be even more united and not self-seeking. I pray that everyone will seek to develop Christlike character. These, I pray.

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This Scar: A memento

In one of the ordinary noon breaks, while in the school’s comfort room, I was checking on myself whether I still look appropriate for the eyes of my first graders – the hair, not much of the face because I expect no disheveled makeup (I just wear it occasionally); that when I noticed the quite a big scar on my leg, almost on the side of the left knee. It’s barely noticeable since it’s almost the same color as my skin but unknowingly my eyes just led me to it. Flashbacks of when, where, when and how I got this flashed like a series of book leaflets blown by a strong wind in a sudden instance. I believe it was there for more than a decade to serve its purpose today.

A memento of the nearly forgotten past. 

I had a very exciting childhood years which I spent most in the rice fields. Being a pastor-farmer’s daughter, I grew up playing in the muddy puddle (I sounded like a piglet here saying proudly “I got wet, I got dirty but see I learnt, oinky oink oink” lol), in a newly plowed rice field and in the trees swinging with its branches or hanging from them upside down like baby monkeys in a jungle. Those days were when I was still quite flexible. I missed the gymnast side of me.

As I look at it, I remember how I acted like a boy.  As the only girl child in the family with two boys before and after me, I would always imitate my elder brother. My mom would make an effort to dress me up like a princess and neatly tied up my hair with a red bow as I rebelliously acted as one of the sidekicks of my elder brother in a shooting game or as I play as his base camp general. I am not fond of Barbie dolls or cooking ware toys. While other girls of my age played with them, I found myself playing with a bamboo shooter with small balls of wet paper as bullets or a homemade slingshot or a pulley-car made out of sticks craftily attached onto four inedible green fruits which until now I do not know the name. My elder brother is so much knowledgeable about these.

I never had a flawless legs when I was growing up, my legs are full of abrasions, lacerations and punctures. These legs are part of my physical insecurities. The scars created by these wounds are quite interesting now. They serve as reminders of how exciting my childhood days were and of whom I often played with and how scenic was the place where I usually play. Simple life in a very simple rural community with simple lifestyle and humble living – simplicity at its finest. 

As I look at the scars again, I contemplated. Wow! What great years I had during those times! This is another reason for me to thank God Almighty for giving me those priceless experiences which I wouldn’t trade for golds. Not all grown-ups of my age got to be hugged by the earth and be bathed by the stars under the umbrella of the misty night sky while playing “patintero” or “agawan base”  (both are traditional outdoor games). It was a perfect environment to make friends, to build relationships with mutual understanding, to learn to respect and to obey rules. It was perfect for the appreciation of the great past which led to who I am now,  to who my playmates are now, to who we are in a situation where we need to stick with the rules as our games dictated during those years, to  how we respond to those who leave us for reasons like our old friends  who transferred to another town and to what will we cherish from that experience beyond compare.

As one puts it, childhood is a short season. It is always fun to reminisce, to dive into those memories again and to freely feel and embrace the true emotions living in those memories.  I wonder whether this scar will ever be gone. However, so be it if it choose to stay in that corner of my knee. I would love to glance at it once in a while to remind me that inside me, there is a child who wants to play.

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