I am a millenial, and I am addicted to my phone.
Well, okay, not really. I’m close to it, though.
In any case, the past few days have seen me glued to my phone reading and responding and reposting stories and articles and opinions about that rape joke that presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte uttered last week. I won’t post links lest I be accused of curating what I want visitors to this blog will see. Google it and you’ll find a lot of netizens both in full rage mode against the guy and his supporters still, well, supporting him.
My main beef with the guy is his morals. I cannot stand to have a national leader who will demean women like me just because that’s “who he is.” He will no longer be who he is if he assumes the oresidency; he will be assuming the role of every single Filipino in this country. He will be representing us if he wins, and therefore he has a lot more responsibility now to the nation as a candidate. As such, he should shape himself up for the job.
I got into an online discussion with one of his supporters–a colleague of mine from my previous workplace. He condemned the joke, but retained support because of Duterte’s political will. I agreed with him that the candidate was tough, but I still disagree with his use of his machismo and his misogyny.
There were a lot of other comments online that were really misinformed, and this is what ABSOLUTELY frustrates me to no end. We have Information at our fingertips, yet people still react anyway without being informed. They don’t bother to do research or even READ. They don’t bother to listen or communicate PROPERLY. We have the tools at our hands, but sadly, the majority of its users do not use it responsibly.
I’ve spoken my piece about that guy on Facebook, and I will not repeat it here anymore. All I can say now is that whoever wins had better deserve the trust of the people and had better to do a hell of a job keeping this country moving forward.
- Om: I finally got to go back to the mat yesterday after almost a week of no yoga. I caught up with the challenge and did some Om chants to calm my mind and my whole being after reading through the hate online (so toxic huhu).
- Openness: not many people are open to other people’s point of view. People don’t realize that you can still listen to others’ opinions and not have to change your own views. What irks me though, is if their views are wrong, like in the case of Duterte’s supporters who respond to indignant cries of people over the “joke” with “LOOK AT THE CONTEXT OF THE JOKE.” And we go, THERE IS NO FRIKKIN CONTEXT IN THE WORLD THAT JUSTIFIES RAPE JOKES!!! Besides, we weren’t even questioning the narrative behind the incident that brought that statement out; we were indignant over the thinking that it’s okay to crack jokes about raping somebody because no harm was meant, they were just words, they were said in the heat of anger yada yada. NO. Rape jokes are NEVER okay. NEVER.
- Om: I need to chant Om again.
One of my closest college friends is giving birth in a couple of weeks and we threw a surprise baby shower for her today. The event was a success; we had good food, good company, and good games (one of which was eating Nutella off a diaper).
Conversation turned to the process of giving birth and motherhood once we finished the program. Those who were moms gave their two cents while the rest of us singletons just cringed whenever someone mentioned the word vagina in the context of givig birth (e.g. “feels like a bowling ball coming out of your vagina;” “You mean you’re going to video the whole thing and see your own sister’s vagina?”)
One of the guests commented that parenting was a scam when she heard how much baby stuff cost. All of us laughed and I guess partly agreed, too. However, none of us laughed when the moms started talking about raising their kids (currently toddlers) into kind, respectful, and responsible people.
Every time my friends talk about their kids’ antics or achievements, I can’t help but feel proud of the kids, but I also am proud of my friends for being great moms who aren’t afraid to discipline their children when needed or teach them to be compassionate. I remember my own mom and think of how much trouble I must have caused when I was a kid myself, and instantly I feel guilty. My SO sometimes talks about his mom raising him and his two brothers while the dad works overseas; I am amazed that one woman can raise three wonderful human beings mostly on her own.
With Mother’s Day coming up in less than a month, I plan on doing something a little bit more special for my mom this year. Don’t tell her; it’s going to be a surprise. 🙂
- Money: I have a new car! Ish. Coming. No more dealing with the heat and rain while commuting. New problem? Parking and motorcycle drivers. But that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get my license.
- Meals: I eat regularly even though soemtimes I don’t like the food laid in front of me. That’s a whole lot more than most of my countrymen who sometimes don’t have money to buy even a piece of pandesal (bread).
- Mornings: Today I woke up feeling excited. I had a disagreement with SO last night, which we also resolved immediately, so waking up today was better than usual because I knew I’d get to see him today.
- Metro Manila traffic: Okay I absolutely hate traffic in the metro, but because of this, I come to appreciate my life in the province even more. Having grown up a city girl, the move AWAY from the city was crushing, but now I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So… Thank you, Metro Manila, for helping me realize and constantly reminding me that I live in Vacationland.
I’ll just do a gratitude list because today is full of L words.
- Lakad: Filipino for the word “walk,” lakad can also mean a trip out of the house to meet with friends or do errands. Today I had to go do errands and am thankful to be able to do so with the company of a close friend who’s moving into our village soon. She had errands for their house and I had errands for our car so we accompanied each other to our lakad. I don’t usually get to hang out with friends anymore especially this summer break, so this impromptu lakad was a blessing even though it was full of errands. The best part was when we decided to visit another good friend in a neighboring village for late afternoon snacks and ice cream. Perfect day is perfect. 🙂
- Love: My friend was talking about her new life as a married woman during our errands, and she was saying that it was so hard for her to understand her husband’s work because it forces him to stay at work until midnight. His work in a local candidate’s campaign keeps him busy, and while she understands that the campaign work was only temporary, she can’t help but worry when he isn’t home by 9pm. I realized that this girl–my friend–was sticking with her husband not because they’re already married and there’s no way out (no divorce in this country) but because of her love for him. They’ve had similar problems before and some which have caused her to cry buckets and buckets of tears, but through those oceans of tears she never once thought of leaving him. That to me was and is inspiring, and it reminds me that great love is also great work.
- Laguna: I live in a province called Laguna, an hour south of Metro Manila. When my parents told us that we would be moving away from the city and into the province, I was heartbroken. I had already established close-knit relationships with friends and neighbors, and the thought of leaving was too much. I cried when our car pulled out of the garage one last time. Now, however, as I was doing my errands, I can’t help but say a silent prayer of thanks because my parents decided to move the family here. There’s traffic, yes, but nothing like the one in the metro. There are cars and commercial buildings as the province is slowly becoming more urbanized, but almost 20 years later the fields still outnumber the buildings here. I am grateful for the convenience of the newly opened malls, but I am also grateful for the fresh air and the kind locals. Even the migrants like myself have imbibed the ways of the people here. The villages are quiet, there are no loud videoke concerts in the middle of the night, and people are in bed by 9pm. The life here is both ideal and idyllic. As my colleague says, “I’m so glad I moved to Vacationland!”
- LA Lakers: I’m no basketball fan, but even I know of Kobe’s achievements and contributions to the sport. I am thankful to the Lakers for taking care of Kobe and giving him opportunities to shine and show the world how the sport is also an art.
- Line: This refers to the mobile chat platform. Similar to Viber but less annoying, Line has allowed me to stay in touch with friends from all over the country and even the ones abroad. I don’t like Viber because the notifications are usually delayed, and sometimes the notifications only arrive when you open the app. Line is just so much better. Plus the stickers are also better in Line than in Viber.
I’m gonna cheat here and use a Filipino word for today’s letter.
Kambyo is the Filipino word for “clutch” (for shifting gears in driving). I had my first driving lesson today, and I learned how to operate a manual-transmission vehicle.
It was DIFFICULT! My only consolation was that the engine didn’t die on me as I switched gears.
The clutch was the most difficult to learn. I had to learn how to temper the pressure I put on it or lift from it. Thankfully, my instructor, a very good friend and colleague, was very patient with me and was very clear in his instructions.
My next session would be learning how to change a tire. Can’t say I’m excited, but I know I need this lesson.
- Kambyo: This thing has taught me a lot about patience and moderation and letting go at the right time.
- Kaibigan (friend or lover): This word can mean either friend (kai-bee-gahn) or lover (ka-ibigahn) depending on which syllable you put the stress. I’m thankful for both meanings. My good friend taught me how to drive, and my SO supported me in my decision to take lessons.
On top of yoga, I do THIS workout, and I hate it. The only reason I haven’t quit yet is because I don’t quit easily.
It’s called the seven-minute workoit and it’s literally just seven minutes long. Tne first one is the jumping jacks. For thr past few days I’ve cheated because I don’t do the jumping part; I just do the arm raising part. Today I did the jumps and because I did this after yoga (focus on warrior poses–strenuous for the legs), my legs were ready to kill me. I have no idea why I even decided to do it after so many warrior poses.
In hindsight, I’m glad I did it just because.
I cheated at jumping jacks
- Jumping jacks
- Joy: I’m counting the days to my next period using an app I just downloaded, and one of the things it asks me to input as part of its cycle analysis is my mood for the day. I realized that I only pay attention to my mood when I’m PMS, which in my dictionary stands for PLENTY of MOOD SWINGS. The app reminded me to keep track also of my happy or joyful moments, and this has helped me be grateful for each day. I end up reflecting if I were happy or joyful by recalling my day, and the brief reflection allows me to find something good within my day.
- Juice: I’m no fan of juice, but sometimes it’s a welcome break from ice cold water on a hot summer day.