Who am I? Sino ako? Saan ko nga ba unang narinig ang mga katagang ito? Kung hindi ako nagkakamali sa Values Education 1, ito ang unang leksiyon sa pagbubukas ng pasukan sa unang taon ko sa hayskul.
Kasabay ng pag-inog ng mundo marami ang nabago sa akin pisikal man o emosyonal. Nadagdagan man ang edad ko ngunit hindi isip ko. Ako pa rin ito, ang batang iyakin na noo’y walang muwang sa kalakaran ng mundo.
Paano ko ba sisimulan ang sulating ito? Nasa pagitan ng anim at pitong taon ako ng una akong tumuntong sa paaralan. Wala akong nais kundi matuto at magkaroon ng maraming kaibigan, nakamit ko ang una ngunit hindi ang pangalawa. Wala ng sasakit pa sa lahat ng mga katawagang hindi ko matanggap, lumaki akong kapiling ay mga luha at hinanakit kung bakit pa ako pinanganak sa mundong ito kung masasaktan lang naman ako. Kinulong ko ang sarili ko sa apat na kuwadrado ng aking mundo kung saan iilan lang ang pinayagan kong makapasok. Aaminin ko mahina ako, iyakin at walang ngiti na maipagmamalaki. Lumaki akong walang tiwala sa sarili at takot sa labas ng mundo, sapagkat sa paaralan at tahanan lang umiikot ang buhay ko.
Dumaan ang taon at unti unting nalagas ang mga lumang dahon sa punong bayabas na madalas kong pasyalan. Hanggang dumating ang panahon abo na lang ang natira sa pinagsunugan, wala akong pinagkaiba sa bayabas matapos pagsawaan ay iiwan ding luhaan. Nagkaroon ako ng mga taong tinatawag na kaibigan, akala ko ginto ngunit bato pala ang tunay na kaanyuan. Kilala lang ako kapag tulong ko ay kailangan ngunit kung hindi naman, maalala lang kung andiyan. Mas madalas nakabuntot sa babaeng kasing edad ko lang naman. Noon naisip ko kung mayaman lang sana kami marami akong kaibigan na hindi mang-iiwan.
Katulad ng karamihan kahirapan ng buhay ang kinamulatan ko, karpintero ang aking ama at simpleng may bahay ang aking ina. Sa isa’t isa lang kami tanging umaasa, bahay namin ay nawawala kung may pagtitipong pupuntahan ang mga madlang kadugo ko pala. Pasensiya na walang personalan pero hindi kayo ang paboritong katsikahan. Matuto ka muna ng sipsipan para kayo’y mapagbigyan sa kahilingan. Malayo ang loob ko sa kalahatan hindi kasi ako ang tipong malambing sapagkat nguso ko nga ay laging nakaigkas na parang sabitan ng kalderong may kaitiman. Ako ang tinik sa lahat ng mga rosas wala ako kahit talentong meron sa karamihan, kung kumanta ako akala mo may kinakatay sa babuyan, sumayaw may posteng dinuduyan mabuti pa ang kawayan nakakayuko sa kabataan o katandaan.
Sa mga siphayong pinagdaanan ko lumaki akong abnormal sa pakikipagkapwa tao, pilit kong tinatago ang sarili ko sa kabibeng akala ko ay siya kong tahanan. Wala akong tiwala sa sarili, takot makihalubilo at hindi mapagbigyan (afraid of rejection). Dumaan pa ang ilang taon unti-unting nagkahugis ang aking kinabukasan at ang aking katawan pero sa tingin ko pantay pa rin naman kasi nakausli pa rin ang tiyan, kolehiyo na pala ako. May siga sa kanto, nasaan? Ako lang naman babaeng pilit ginagaya ang kalalakihan ngunti ang totoo ay lampa naman. Nakikipagbiruan ngunit ang katotohanan kinakabahan. Kaybilis naman ng panahon, dalaga na pala mga pili kong kaibigan, mga kaibigang sa akin ay tumanggap ng walang alinlangan at hindi tinitignan ang aking panlabas na kaanyuan. Ang mikrobyo kapag kumapit ay walang kasingbilis sa aking biglang pagharap sa mahiwagang kasangkapan ako ba tong may pintura sa labi? Ako ba ang nasa salamin? Ano nga ba ang dapat asahan ang batang iyakin ngayo’y dalaga na, late bloomer ayon nga sa sabi nila. Unti-unti nagkaroon ng tiwala sa katawan at kakayahan, humahalakhak kita pati ngala-ngala. Natutong makipagkaibigan at makipagngitian kung mauunang ngingiti ang taong ngingitian.
Kaybilis ng panahon, dilaw na pala ang palayan sa tabi ng tahanan. Panahon na kung saan natapos din ang apat na taong pinaghirapan at pinag-utangan ng salapi para makaakyat sa entabladong kung ilang baytang lang naman. Katibayan ay isang papel na pangalan ay prenteng nasa kalagitnaan.
Paalam mga kaibigan ako ay nag-iisa na naman, balik na naman sa kuwadradong mundo minsan ay aking binuksan upang makipaghuntahan. Baon ng pag-asa at tiwala sumubok sa Kamaynilaan kasama ang inang kabuntot lagi kung saan, sa kasawiang palad umuwing bigo at luhaan. Payo ng inang sinta, kung wala kang suwerte sa Kamaynilaan bakit hindi subukan ang usapang may kasalan. Isang pindot, nakakilala ng dayuhan, kasayahan pagkatapos ng kasalan.
Ay madami pala akong kaibigan, ano nga ang iyong pangalan? Tama ang iyong sapantaha dumami ang aking mga kaibigan. Mga taong noon ay hindi man lang sa akin makipaglaro ng sulyapan. Mahika ng aming tahanan ay biglang nagpaalam, nakikita na ito kapag may handaan, imbitado na kung saan. Salapi, ano nga ba ang iyong kapangyarihan?
My story is such boredom isn’t it. I am typical child, lady and a woman who is asking for love from everyone. On my younger years I am victim of bullying from cousins, friends and classmates, almost everyday I am crying. Nobody loves me, nobody wants me. Even my mother hates me, as what I remember I am always the reason why my parents fight each other as what she always told me. My mother is disciplinarian, military rule as what I have called it. My father is soft, no comment because if he did my mother will storm him. With this unhappy childhood my personality didn’t grow, it remains as it is. I did not experience to play longer in the sun I am locked up inside my world and our house. My mother doesn’t want me to play with other kids, as a little child all I know she doesn’t love me at all and she is different from other mother I know.
Time flies, I am old and still hard headed as my mother says. I am not afraid anymore if my mother will tell me to burn my clothes, hit me and etc. I came to the point that I told her all my heartaches during my childhood and adolescent period for not letting me play and for not letting me grow. There are things that I can’t understand before but when my mother cried my heart melts, she told me “Walang ina na gustong makita ang anak na nasasaktan at umiiyak, akala mo ba masaya ako kapag pinapalo ko kayo? Kapag naging ina ka maiintindihan mo rin ako” Now I know, why she is so strict to me and don’t let me play with other kids because every time I went out our house for sure when I go home I am crying because everyone is against me and don’t want to play with me and when my mother caught me sneaking outside it’s bamboo time. Well my mother is right she loves me on her own little way. With this, my perspective change, I became thankful for everything she did to me. The way she raised us because we grow differently far from the way of other kids I envy before. It comes to my mind maybe when my mother is not strict I am also a single mom, or married in a younger age and was not able to finish my studies. Every thing I got now I owe this to my mother, to my parents.
When it came to my friends I have no close friends on my elementary days until two years before graduation came, Mr. Bean (boy classmate) who call me names with the others and make me cry, and Ms. Cole, blood related of mine who’s the same age with me was transferred to another section, I am always in a star class. Things change because the leader's of the gang are one section away; I gained few friends those classmates who don’t like me before. They told me Ms. Cole told them not to talk with me and etc and what I am thankful too all the boys stop calling me names because Mr. Bean is not around anymore . At last I am at peace from the boys and I am out of her shadow, I am free of my own because if you are interested to know they always compare us and I am always the second best for my relatives and classmates.
Life is so cruel. It was before my high school days when there’s spelling quiz bee in our barangay, Ms. Cole and I are one of the contestant. I won it and for the second time I proved to myself I that I can be better than her but well it was just for me. My relatives were not happy that I won, they even tell Ms. Cole in front of me why she let herself lose on me. It hurts but acceptance will set you free, they don’t like
God is still great, I passed the high school entrance exam and she did not. They said she is lack of sleep so am I because the night before the exam is the awarding ceremony for the quiz bee. Everything change, at least my relatives known that I am not the moron they know, they stop comparing us. They see me as me and not a shadow of her anymore but the fact that I am not still the best for them is just perfectly fine for me.
My high school days are fine I meet other teenager from different town and walks of life. I still remain behind the poverty line what I mean I make friends to my classmates with the same level as me, poor student. I am a class vendor on my high school, selling candies and chocolates or anything that I can carry on my bag; I even bring pocketbooks for rental. Yes I am walking store (lol), our teachers did not mind it as long as I am going to be responsible with my classmate’s rubbish, and they know I need money for my daily expenses especially I live farther than the others. My other classmates live on the other side of town but they can afford to hire a school service and not like me if the jeepneys are all gone I have to walk home alone beyond the rough road.
I have few friends but the fact that I cannot treat them in the school canteen they always out of my sight, I will just found out they are with one of my classmate’s who can afford to treat them in exchange of doing project, planting pechay or bringing something for them. They always left me, they just remember me when they need something from me or the goddess is not around. I am still the second best. Well I am poor but I did not let my can afford classmates to treat me as their assistant or ask me to do this and that. I am not kind, isn’t it? But I admit during elementary days I used to be, I write a long notes for my classmates notebook in exchange of P2.00 or to buy food for them in the canteen for the amount of P1.00. Maybe it was the reason why they look at me so little during those times.
On college, Ms. Cole and I meet again on the same school, institution and class room. Even we lived on the same place, we are not close to each other. Things are not constant, as well as people. People also changed when they became mature and at least now we are both grown up, we have the same group of friends in combine. Her schoolmate’s befriended with my schoolmates and vice versa, so we are one group. We didn’t talk about our childhood days but I know she know how did she treat me with her allies, my cousins and our classmates and she admit it long after and asked herself why they did it to me. We’re not alike she is girly and I am boyish. After two years she needs to stop and get married, she’s pregnant. For me I continue despite the hardship, thanks to the help of my parents and scholarship/s.
It was on my third year things changed this is the time I bloom. I gained confidence every time people will tell me I am cool and I look good. I am completely out of my shell, I became strong and a fighter. Not until graduation came that we need to part our ways, I return to the real me a weakling and shy. I am just strong and a fighter when I have friends around but alone I am not.
To summarize and to answer the question what is the change that has happened to me and what are the things I still need to change about me. To recall I have said a lot of changes happened to my life from being lonely to being friendly, from being timid to bubbly, from being a loser a fighter, from being ugly duckling to lovely swan.
When I grew up I have realized some things are not constant they are bound to change. I changed when time past by as well as my cousins, classmates and friends as well as the people that surrounds me. What inspires me is the attention I get when I started to spread my wings so high, extending friendship and smile to everyone. Encouragement from my family and friends. Life is colorful in the outside world, no matter how it hurts sometimes. I gained self confidence with the help of my so called friends; they cheer me up when I am down.
I am not perfect I still have a lot of things to change with myself; I want to get rid of shyness when I am alone and not in the group. You will see me strong but I am weak inside, I want to get rid of my sensitiveness and my being anti-social. I am childish I want to be mature and responsible. I am trying my best to overcome my shyness by mingling with other bloggers and be mature enough to do the things alone. If you didn’t know where ever I go my mother is always with me, going to town, to dentist, to hair salon, to municipal hall, to post office, to stores, to school sometimes, to Manila and everywhere I can’t live alone. That’s why when I got here with my husband we always argue if I can’t go out alone, I always want him to go with me. He keeps telling me to be independent and stop acting like a child and be a woman. I need to change because this is for my own good and for my social growth. For my future children, I don’t want them to be like me, a weakling. Whenever I achieved the changes I want, it will be a good effect to my social life, and I am going to be independent and mature where I can go to public places alone without crying the whole night. Isn’t it a big relieved to my love one that has their own schedule?
To all parents, aunts love your kids or nephew/nieces and stop comparing them to other kids and keep them safe from bullies because it hurts and it well affect their social growth. When you are also a victim of bullying it is also hard to trust a friend not until you overcome it. The pain will gone but the scar will remain, it is a like a nightmare that when you are down they’re flashing back to your memories. I am telling you these because that’s what I feel when I am down, I feel alone and pitiful. If not on my faith in God I am not here anymore. Peace!
This is my official entry for BlankPixel's Thirty on 30 Change in my Life Contest.