When people ask me to define love, I say, "Love is like handing someone a gun, having them point it at your heart, and trusting them to never pull the trigger." (Sponge Bob)

When they ask me why I laugh at my mistakes and even write them with pride in my blogs, I say, "I'm not crazy. I just don't give a damn!" (Daffy Duck)

When one time I was conducting a group activity, a student asked what road sign I love the most, I said, "I like dead end signs. I think they're kind. They at least have the decency to let you know you're going nowhere…" (Bugs Bunny)

And when for the nth time a friend would ask me what do I get from writing, I'm not even sure if there are good old souls out there visiting my site, I just smile and say, "Kung gusto mong maging manunulat, eh di magsulat ka. Simple." (Bob Ong)

And last night when Eva said she wants to quit from her work because nobody believes in her, her boss got mad at her, she doesn't even have friends at her agency, and she's crying like hell, I said, "Either you stay to prove your worth or you quit and just show them you're a loser, you have to strive for your happiness." (MY original)

My CHOICES: I remained believing in love. I continued spicing up my mistakes and rewriting my life, accepting failure but keep on dreaming until words would fade into thin air.

Oct 16, 2008

CABAnata 22: Meeting the Unknown

October 11, 2008.

“What is your most frustrating experience and what have you realized from it?”

Quite a difficult, yet challenging question… but considering my height, surely, this is not one of the most controversial “question and answer” portion in a beauty contest. Maybe in due time, I shall reveal to you what was this question all about. But as of now, let me just share to you my answer as I meet the unknown for the first time…

I paused for a while. Groping for words to say. I thought of my mother’s death or my father’s, but at the back of my mind, I can hear that little voice telling me, “Are you ready to disclose that? You might just break into tears and blow this chance of a lifetime.”

So I listened to that voice.

Then I confidently started articulating what I thought was a safe answer:

“Actually, I don’t consider any of my experiences as source of my frustration. There may be downfalls but I always see things in a positive light that they no longer appear to me as frustrating.”

The woman across the desk was smiling. And so I smiled back, too… nervously though. Hopefully, hers was a satisfied smile.

Come November, if such question will be asked from me again, I would be more honest. And this is what I intend to say:

“Frustrating experience? Oh well, the first time that was asked of me, I said: I don’t consider any of my experiences as source of my frustration. There may be downfalls but I always see things in a positive light that they no longer appear to me as frustrating.”

“On my way home, I realized though that what I gave was such a safe answer.”

“I first thought of my parents’ death… but I don’t consider it frustrating, it is more of a depressive experience than frustrating. So I have two things in mind…” (pause… for a more dramatic air…)

“First, upon graduating from college, I would have preferred pursuing immediately Clinical Psychology, which I thought then, was my ultimate dream. But due to financial reasons, my mother asked me to work so I would be able to support my younger brother’s schooling or else, he wouldn’t be able to finish college. And like any other Filipino eldest child, I did what was asked of me. So I became a pre-school teacher and a shadow teacher to mainstreamed pupils. And even without those sped units, I tried in the best of my ability, to give what was due to these children. That first job, considering all those efforts, which I thought was my most frustrating experience opened a new door for me – realizing that I would still be able to help the less privileged in the society by being a teacher.”

“Secondly, when I was already immersed in special education, frustration hit me hard seeing how unfortunate children with special needs are in the Philippines. In my community alone, public schools have low ability to provide quality education to regular kids, more so to special children. That’s when I started dreaming for a home school for children with disabilities. Then again, financial reasons got in the way.”

“So maybe you would ask me, what then am I doing here – sitting face-to-face with you? The answer is simple: The realization of that dream is in your hands.”

------ Applause! Applause! Applause! ------