Thursday, June 30, 2005

You say I am yours
I answered, why is that so?
You are a woman.

Sun sets, you claim me.
Yet, man, you do not own me.
You should have known that.

Another day begins
I, you, they answered my plea
You and I are free

- nabuong tula ng isang particpant sa Learning and Sharing Workshop on VAW,Gender and Human Rights, Feb. 18, 2005, Quezon City

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

first time

went to my first counselling session yesterday. it takes an average of one hour per, mine took longer. ewan kung nakulitan yung counsellor but i saved her around 10 minutes for the "establishing rapport" part.

it was easy and light session. i prepared a hanky for i had expected to cry a river, pero konting iyak lang naman pala ang gagawin ko and it was towards the end of the session na. mas naiyak siguro yung counsellor sa tagal ng aming pag-uusap at kakukulit na i need to establish my goal in the counselling. la daw syang makitang problema sakin and she's at a loss how exactly she could make the counselling work for me. but i admitted to her naman that 5 minutes before the session i was still asking myself what my goal was.

so what did the first counselling accomplish? i found a word for the the defense mechanism i used in handling my molestation problem. it's called dissociation. kaya daw naging blurry na yung picture nung taong nag-molest sakin is because in order to cope i attempted to depart from reality that it did happen. normal daw yon to victims of sexual abuse. aside from that, malinaw na din sakin (actually dati ko pa alam) romel's reaction towards my display of emotions when he attempted to help me talk about the abuse. and she recognized that romel has indeed helped me. well, i knew that already.

she knew that i had written about it and posted it in my blog and read by people i know. okay daw yon. that was brave of me daw. that's when she started asking what exactly my problem was about the molestation. she said i was already on the healing process. the shame is no longer there. i was even able to narrate to her without flinching the details as i recalled it. though i still had lapses in my memory but she got a fairly good picture of how it happened.

she also asked about my kid. so kai, according to her appraisal need not go to counselling as i had planned it because of his resilience. she also thought that romel and i handled kai maturely and responsibly. it helps that kai and romel have established good relation.

so again, what was my goal daw. ahhh, anger management? she smiled and said, "hmm, ok good try...keep trying" ( hehe to that). i tried "healing". ano daw gusto ko ma-heal pa. so she made bilin that i have to define what 'healing' means for me. i asked if "healing" would require me to confront the person who abused me, she said it's not necessary. good enough for me.

she said again i'm already on the right path and i might not need her after all. but i do need her. i need her to tell me i'm okay. and she did that. she said i know exactly my problems, what's bothering me and how to handle my problems.

and oo nga pala, right after the session my good friend, malou, who accompanied me asked how was the session and i said it went well for me. it helped that my disciplinary background is psychology kaya di masyado problemado sa mga terminologies na ginamit. and surprisingly, as we walked to cantina at katipunan i had related to her those nights when i was molested in more detailed manner and again without flinching, without shame, without fear of revisiting the past. and again today i shared with yhen how the counselling went and this time, it was the full account...i had actually recalled everything. and i was happy.

at si kai, he was so sweet last night. he was so supportive, he was so unlike the stubborn kid he was last week. when i got home (and it was late) he was there patiently waiting for me unlike last week na kailangan ko pa sunduin sa computer shop. he kissed and embraced me over and over telling me he loves me. yun nga lang, for two nights now he refuses to go to bed alone. that's two nights after he learned that he's just lost another father.

but everything's gonna be alright. i know.

Monday, June 27, 2005

anniversary post

it was 2 days and a year ago when i created my first blog. i did it so i could make a comment on romel's blog becasue i think that at that time eh di pa ganun ka-friendly ang because one couldn't comment then if you didn't have your own. it's nice to have discovered (thanks romel), medyo nakakaagaw nga lang ng oras sa trabaho kasi instead of ang una kong basahin sa umaga when i get to the office eh blogs ang binubuksan ko.

my first post was about refraining from meats...ah, hindi ko yun masyado napanindigian because i went back to eating meat a month ago, pero medyo-medyo lang. i wrote a letter to an unborn child, eleven months na sya ngayon, i was one day short sa pustahan, iamar was born aug 3, pusta ko was aug 2.

so many things have happened since the first blog, dami ko na ring blogs na nabasa other than the ones na kilala ko na halos lahat naman ay taga-tfd. there's stayingpinoyinnewyork, salbaje, na yung kay eyed at clickandcrash. their's have improved through the year, nakabitan na nila ng link, nag-post na sila ng pics, yung kay bananarit eh meron pang tigger, yung kay ikabod ay nagpalit na ng "about me" na from "papa to ayi, daddy to kai, labs to len" to "coping with life". si clickandcrash ay may orasan pang naka-kabit. ako eh last week lang natuto na magkabit ng link, at ankakainins daw ako turuan guamwa ng link sabi ni romel na di na nya sinabi kung bakit at tinantanan ko na rin mag-uirirat pa. basta, nakagawa na ko ng link.

nakapag-disclose din ako sa blog ko ng kung ano nangyari sakin in the past without regard who would read my posts and wala ng kyeme kung ano sasabihin ng magbabasa. but it was worth it because i got a lot of support from those who commented. ang dami ko din posts na naka-save lang, mga sinimulan pero hindi natapos.

at isang taon na kong nagba-blog pero lagi pa rin bali-baligtad ang mga spelling ko kahit spellling bee winner ako noong araw. hayy.

ah, ang unang-una ko palang post ay yung tungkol kay romel at hindi yung sa mga gulay...hmmmm, marami na nga talagang nagbago. hayy ulit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


excuse me for my utter ignorance, but can somebody teach me how to add links? di ko ma-follow instruction sa blog.

Monday, June 20, 2005

mr and ms smith

this was the movie romel and i were supposed to watch at sm davao the evening we decided to be friends. we got to watch it only last friday with my son. funny movie. very funny, indeed.

i was already yawning even before we entered the movie house. uh-oh, bad sign. but the very first scene already got me so interested and so i stuck it out till the movie came to an end. romel laughed the loudest.

kai started snoozing towards the middle of the film and missed the fight scenes. i was teasing kai that he had become like me.

i wasn't in a very good mood that day, romel wasn't in a jovial mood either. but we both relaxed after the movie. now i know why movie promoters always say "relax, see a movie". yun lang.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear.
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled.
For God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command,
and that I need no one.
But don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion and fear and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant soophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation.
My only hope and I know it.
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers so I painstakingly erect.
it's the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.

But I don't tell you this. I don't dare. I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me, that you'll laugh,
and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing, that I'm just no good,
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine,
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I don't like to hide.
I don't like to play superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me,
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind and gentle and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings,
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.

I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator - a honest-to-God creator -
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic
and uncertainty, from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to. Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.

A long conviction of worthlessness build strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man,
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing that I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls,
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands
but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

Charles C. Finn

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

how time flies

i remember that as a child i used to play with dolls though i cant quite recall if i had any favorite or what my dolls looked like. but it's still vivid to me how as a young girl i would role-play as a mom of a young baby. i was very protective because in my role plays there would always be a storm and i would wrap my doll with cotton cloth, and with an umbrella pretend like we're braving heavy rains together. i remember clasping the doll close to my chest, tight enough so it didn’t slip off my left arm, but not too tight so it didn't suffocate. My left hand would carry a basket of goods while I would always hold an umbrella with my right hand.

i always found myself in awful times with my doll. storms, earthquakes, fire…and always there were just the two of us. i didn’t think of having somebody to take the role of a dad, it never entered my mind that i needed one. but i always knew that I was going to be the bestest mother of my child.

as i grew up i would tell my friends i didn’t want a husband but longed to have a child that i would raise all by myself. i pictured it would be a beautiful and intelligent baby. i can’t quite recall if i wanted a boy or a girl. But even when i played with a girl-doll (I think other than Ken, male-dolls were unheard of at that time), its gender did not really matter. but when i thought of a name, i only came up with masculine one.

time flew and now I have my own kid, beautiful, intelligent, loving, precocious kahlil. when i watch him sleep i can’t help reminiscing the happy times with my doll. we always survived those make-believe awful times. Looking back, I realize how those times reflected the life I would have with my son now. I can’t tell whether it was a presage of my future as a mother or that I had designed my life now exactly how I envisioned myself way back.

If I had to believe in symbols, the many tragedies I went through imitate the storms i confronted together with my doll. the absence of a father- figure probably portend my current state of single-parenthood.

I easily spotted the semblance of my role playing when I left my then husband after finding out about his first mistress. I left the house with kahlil who was barely a year old then. I had P1750 in my pocket, jobless and with no definite place to go. I had him on a peach baby-carrier, the ones that moms would put on the shoulders and resembled a kangaroo pouch. I had big bag on my left shoulder which contained diapers and milk bottles i needed during the trip, while tugging a large gray suitcase which I borrowed from my ex. The suitcase contained the few clothes I owned, feeding bottles, baby clothes, toys and books. It didn’t feel like it was the first time I was doing it.

That was when I went home to my parents in the province. But because I needed a job I had to go back to Manila before that year ended to look for a job, again my baby in tow who was then a year old. From then I had to face up with adversities and by stroke of luck or perseverance got us to where we are now.

Through those adversities kahlil would always be by my side. We protected each other. All those years that I had to find ways so we could live comfortably he was always there to try to make it easy for me. He has gone from wanting to be an actor so he could earn income to as far as expecting Leonardo di Caprio or Raymond Bagatsing at our doorstep so i could have a boyfriend and need not be alone anymore.

i had to earn a living by doing freelance research work, always i would have kahlil with me. at three, he went with me to remote barangays in batangas. while i interviewed my informants he would play with other kids. he was still in diapers then, when i went to municipal halls to ask for government documents we would sneak to the toilet so he could change diaper or relieve himself. if it took too long to prepare the papers i was asking for, the employees were good enough to accomodate us and find a place where he could rest his head on my lap as he drank his milk. after that short break we would take long walks to get to bus terminals under the scorching heat of the sun or inched our way in covered sidewalks to avoid getting soaked in the rain. i remember one time when i allowed my tears to drop as soon as the rain fell out of pity for kahlil. to these days, it would still make me cry when i retell it to kahlil, but proudly this time.

more years have passed and he's a grown kid now. he's experiences have humbled him. he knows that he's living a confortable life but he's aware of what we both had to go through. the past have made him grow up faster than he should. he's an old man in young boy's body. he can weigh things, he makes decisions and suffers consequences for the wrong ones. he would despair at one time but would rise again and always find a way out of his troubles.

he knows when i'm sad. he knows when i'm lying to him. he knows when i am troubled. he could even reprimand me if he knew i did something not right. he questioned my post, 'the agnostic me". he had thought that because i refuse to believe in god made me an evil one. but he understood my brief justification and now respects my choice to be agnostic.

my friends, my colleagues and their children, his friends are very fond of him because of the happy and responsible disposition that he has. while he is carefree with himself he is careful not to deliberately hurt anybody. my dad once told me that he could already see what kahlil would be like as a grown person and he's not worried. i am not worried. i know that i am raising my child in the right way, however devoid of "christian values". i am also able to protect him the way i had protected my dolls. he would in time face his own adversities and meet frustrations, not of my making, but i know he would be able to transcend.

the nicest gift i got on my birthday was a card he chose himself and bought with his own money. the card said, "of all the mommies and kids in the world, i'm glad we ended up together." having read that, i didn't need to be told how a good mother i have become. my son has said it all.