What I should have written in Facebook a year ago.

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I stayed away from Facebook for the past couple of days and even stopped posting for months now. Although it gives a lot of you joy, kilig moments, a way out of your boredom, a link to your old friends and even to your exes, a medium to express your feelings, what it really gives me is a heartache everytime I open it. Of which only a few who see me daily and those who know me and my story (a lot of you) would understand. I have always believed that one should never broadcast in FB because strangers would be in on the little details of your life but here I am, in a speech, so that I can at least get my voice in it too. I’m a person. I have feelings and I have reservations. I hurt. I just don’t talk about it in FB. So when you people spread words regarding me or talk about me, remember that I had never hurt anyone of you, I probably don’t even know you AND you don’t know me. This is a year-long reply to everything. This probably won’t get me anywhere, it probably won’t help me much, and it might actually get me in more of your talks, OR into trouble. But maybe this could help me move out of my rut. Just maybe.

I know I have friends, few as they may be, who have stuck by me. I thank you for all the shoulders that I have drenched with my tears. And I know I have my friends who would read this and raise their eyebrows, defiant, defensive. I am grateful to you too for you have helped me discern what it is in my life that I need.

I have nothing but friendship and love to offer but the stares would always get me off-guard. And the paranoia always hits. And it has been hitting home for a long time now. A heart could only take so much.

A note written in my Facebook page. From a year-long struggle of losing myself in all the social media madness.

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My husband has deleted me in both his accounts in Facebook. Maybe it was my fault, or his. But nothing has sunk in. Have I lost the love of my life? I cannot feel anything. I’ve grown numb.

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Justice for Marjorie Kwan

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I spent two years in Manila studying at the University of Santo Tomas my first and second years in college. And this is one lesson that has stuck with me even after nine years: When someone tries to steal your bag, or your phone, by all means, give it to the darn snatcher. 

There are numerous stories of snatching in Metro Manila, particularly in the University Belt. This area is usually brimming with students from all of the universities in the vicinity. Each student busy going to and from their school to their dormitories or the next jeepney stop. It is no surprise that this is also a haven for snatchers with all sorts of modi operandi waiting for their next targets.

I believe it was our English professor who relayed this story of a young student whose brand new phone got nabbed while riding an FX, a means of transportation similar to the famous jeepney. Since the phone was just given to him by his parents, probably as a gift, he refused and he got stabbed/shot for it. (Forgive me for the vague details, nine years is quite long.) The lesson that our professor has clearly and repeatedly stated is this: a phone ain’t worth your life.

I have moved to Davao since and have basked in the thought that the crime rate of snatching here is remarkably low compared to Metro Manila’s. I have even walked the streets of Davao at night, something I would never dare in Metro Manila. It saddens me now that after nine years, this creeping crime has apparently crawled its way to peaceful Davao.

February 18, 2012, 11:30 AM,

Marjorie Kwan, a 23-year old nurse, was shot four times by men riding a motorcycle after she refused to surrender her bag to the snatchers. She has a full life ahead of her. And her life was stolen together with her purse.

As of now, the suspects are still at large. I pray that these men will be caught soon. Who shoots someone in broad daylight and gets away with it? I hope the answer would be no one. But you and I both know that that is rarely the case.

Here is the link to the article posted by ABS-CBN on their site: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/02/18/12/fil-chinese-nurse-shot-dead-davao

I personally do not know her but we both graduated from the same college. In fact, when news of this incident spread in Facebook, I immediately checked her profile and we actually have quite a lot of friends (35) in common. Apparently, we’re even batchmates, graduated the same year. Despite being strangers to each other, her death has brought sadness in me. May kirot sa dibdib when I found out about the news and as I write this now.

Facebook and Twitter has been swarming with campaigns for justice for the death of Marjorie Kwan. Although we know these would never be enough for the family and friends who were left behind but there is solace, however miniscule, in the fact that people care for their fellow human being whose life has been wasted for just a few bucks. Prayers are the best we could offer to the grieving family.

There is a Facebook page dedicated to her, Justice for Marjorie Kwan. Visit the page and show your support.

All in a mommy’s day.

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After our afternoon coffee munch in Datu’s Brew, I decided to take Belle “sightseeing” to Cotabato’s famous Barter Trade Center.

This is where you can buy a selection of local wares from native bags, to scarves, malongs, and batik dresses. I casually told Belle these exact words, “I like to shop around there.” She straightened up from her slouch in the backseat, eyes lit up and nodded, all the eagerness to go home obviously gone. We went out for coffee, why not for window shopping? Total girls’ day out. My mind was busy calculating how much we were about to spend on this impromptu shopping trip. (I’m kuripot that way.)

The Cotabato Barter Trade Center or simply Barter is a haven of sorts. There were blouses of all fashion – from trendy to traditional, this leopard print harem pants that were too comfortable for words selling at 250 matatawaran pa, a chic black and white animal print scarf, there were colorful pants (read: pink, purple, yellow, blue) which I could easily work into my everyday wardrobe and scarves, scarves and SCARVES galore!

I had a huge crush on the floral scarves I saw as we were driving by but up close, the animal printed scarves were what made me fall in love. This red one was the winner of all the scarves there.

I was ready to hit the mute button on the “ka-ching” money noises which were reverberating in my head when I grabbed it. Right when I was ready to pull out the moolah, the saleslady in an elementary student’s uniform changed the price from 150 to 180. Wasn’t it supposed to go the other way around? From up to down? Turn off. Zero for sales talk. My buzz was killed. These people are known to change their prices if they see you have money to spare – at which I DO NOT! I did salvage the scarf moment and went there the next day and bought it from a different saleslady. I got it for so much less this time. 🙂

I thought Belle was just happy to be toted around by her mom who was busy ogling but apparently, she had business of her own. I didn’t see the signs at first, thinking she was just goofing around when she grabbed a cap from the stall. I was busy looking up to the scarves hanging from the ceiling that I didn’t notice her inherent liking to the hijab.

She grabbed one and asked me to put it on her. Being a convert, I didn’t, scratch that, I still DO NOT know what is what from what. I had to ask the saleslady to help us out – which was quite embarrassing since it looked fairly obvious. After she donned it, I just couldn’t say no. I mean, could you?

I was asked a hundred bucks for this. Of course, I  had to ask for a discount and got it for eighty instead. I am clueless as to how much these really cost so I went ahead and paid for it, no “kaching’s” in my head this time.

All in a mommy’s day.