It’s very easy to label ourselves as
strong but how does a strong person actually look like?
It is when that night came when I
realized I was holding an extension wire tightly hanged on the ceiling. Yes!
That night I was ready to cut the life that God Almighty has given. I was
crying as I little by little knew that I attempted the biggest crime in the
eyes of God. Myself was eaten with guilt as I sat down asking why I almost did
In Erick Erikson’s Theory of
Psychosocial Development, Trust vs. Mistrust begins at birth to a year old. If
trust is not consistently met, mistrust may develop. I don’t know how my parents raised me
as I develop trust (but I know they’re doing their best that made them the best
parent for me), but one thing is for sure, mistrust already spread out when I
was still young.
I don’t trust anyone. When I am befriended with someone,
automatically my mind will ask, “Why? What’s the motive?” When everybody is busy and will not talk to
me, all I can say is “I can live without them!” When I hear good
comments from someone, of course, I will not believe because in my mind I live
in a world full of pretentions. These results to be alone, to fill in more
grudges in my heart, to hate those persons silently, to always think that I can
only love my self ALONE, to continue not trusting them and most of all, I
became arrogantly lonely.
Battling against your self is the most
difficult war anyone can experience. Trying to be happy in the midst of loneliness
is difficult, too. Now, will a strong person trust someone or decide the
other way to protect herself from the future battle?
In an early age, I was a victim of
prejudgments and 80% of my existence I keep on proving. That time I thought
that was happiness but now I realized that it’s NOT. I went to relaxing places
to unwind, I thought that was happiness but now I come to know that it’s NOT. I
dine out with friends to different resto, we chitchat, giggles and laugh, I
thought that was happiness, but it’s not. And so, what kind of happiness
does a strong person possesses?
I answered that question that made me
feel guilty 8 years ago. I almost commit that deadly sin because I am
self-centered. I always demand an attention to anyone not thinking that they
have life, too. I always think negatively and did not see good things to
someone. I did not know my WORTH. And now, as I go back to the past, I realize
that I am fighting in a wrong battlefield. Unfortunately, I fought against myself.
These have change when I met MAFIES. They
helped me brightened my own dark spot. How funny it is when I had a bad
presumption to these people and end up being compatible together. Funny it may
seem but I guess that’ how ironic life is.
met Loriemar for the first time at the interview. She was one of the first
interviewee who immediately finished it. We ask how was it going with a
thumping heart and a chaos mind since in a few minutes it will be our turn.
With a confident aura and a raised eyebrow, she answered “OKAY ra man!”I looked
at her closely and whisper to myself with a hidden raising of eyebrow “ Dili ko
ganahan niya!” Second incident was when we were about to take our laboratory
test and a newly-hired teacher, like us, forgot to bring money, we still need
to wait for her. Here comes Loriemar, who said with an intimidating voice,
“Niingon unta to siya kay pahulamon nako siya ug kwarta!” and she ended up with
a smirk. After hearing that, the “Dili ko ganahan niya” level stepped up from
Level 1 to Level 10.
Remember the newly-hired teacher who
forgot to bring money? Well, she is no other than, Ma. Fatima. That time, I
started not to like her. I feel like we’re not compatible. I doubted her sweet
smile and her simple nod as she agrees everything. I don’t like how clumsy she
was that time but as a sign of deep respect (since I am a Filipina), I just go with
the flow. The moment she will crack a joke using her “kamilaan” will stop me
from what I am doing and push myself to adjust immediately to my new
But wait, there’s more. The next
incident I met Ermelinda after our application process was at a store. She was
riding a bike holding a viand that she bought. It was a super-duper hot noon
and so does my mood. I saw her first and greet her. She just stares at me like
no one is talking. I greeted her again with some questions regarding our application,
hoping that she will recognize me. I succeeded but the next line she uttered
immediately made my mood like the weather. She answered, “AMBOT LANG!” that
made me feel annoyed. I was intimidated by her answer. I just told myself not
to greet her again nor ask questions.
Speaking of intimidation, this also
happened to Rotche. She was the one who came and worked first. As we came for
our first day of service, her chinita eyes and a wide smile greeted us. She
said with a sweet voice, “Maayo kay nagsugod namo para nana ko’y kuyog.” My two
eyebrows met and my carousel-like mind started to turn and doubted her. It’s
just our first meeting and her warm greeting were doubtful. She also possesses
a mild to strong personality. She will decide on this and that things, ask the
permission of everybody if we will go with her decisions but it’s not just like
that, no matter how she respected others’ opinion, many times, her decision
must prevail because she possesses a good marketing skill plus guts.
Intimidation not only occur in loud
people but in silent gals also. Just like Kathleen. I don’t know that she was
an alumnus and a valedictorian. I just knew when we took an EPT at school and
another gay alumnus introduced Kath to all of us as smart since she was the
first valedictorian. I don’t like how she silently smile with a red face during
that day. I don’t think it’s an act of humility. The next incident we met was
at Consolacion where I heard a lot of questions about me. I did not share
everything. Why not? Because I don’t trust her. I really don’t believe in
everyone’s goodness. It’s a big lie.
That’s how tiring my life back then. I
kept on thinking that everyone can be a red flag. I am a human, 30% conscience,
69% paranoid and 1% trust.
A big paradigm shift happened 5 years
ago. I cannot tell how did it happen maybe because I enjoyed it but everything
went upside down. Because of MAFIES, I realize that I know how to write, to
paint, do calligraphy, designing of dresses and to be an expressive person.
MAFIES is compose of different personality, mix it well, and it will be better
than Margaritas dear.
Loriemar may possesss a strong
personality but a soft spot was there. You cannot see it in a first glance
because you must not suppose to see goodness, you must feel it. It was just a
smile, before but I saw it as smirk. Her “OKAY ra man!” statement before was
not a sign of pride, it’s a hidden gesture of telling, “I am okay and so, you
must.” Seeing her proud as she offered
her money to someone whom she didn’t know well before was just a sign of
generosity. I doubted people that’s why they were not able to show me what
generosity really is.
That silent Fatima I met 5 years ago is
not really silent. She has a lot of ideas that most of the time she doesn’t
want to express because of her high respect to everyone. She nodded a lot not
because she doesn’t have a decision-making skill but her empathy to the person
is more important to her. I was born to talk and talk that’s why listening has
no spot in me. I doubted the person who listens, I don’t hear them anyway. I
The strong voice that Ermelinda
possesses is also the voice who always make us laugh because of her words of
wisdom. Her facial reactions are big jokes, too. My life was boring. I don’t
know how many times I laugh, the way I laugh with Ermelinda.
Rotche’s greetings that I doubted was
the first gesture of friendship and I almost lost it. Rotche’s decision-making
is wise that perfectly fits to the people who cannot decide immediately, like
MAFIES. You can see her as a tough person but along with her toughness is a
weak spot, I did not know but I can feel. I did not recognize her goodness
because I don’t believe it exist before. Thankful that I come to know that
goodness can also be shown in aggressiveness.
Kathleen is never silent. That’s not an
exact definition of her. She is a good listener. Silent and a good listener is
not synonymous. That, makes her smart. Kathleen never lacks out of
appreciation. That’s her asset. In my 26 years of existence, I can only
remember some praises that I am most likely don’t believe. I realize how
colorful your life is if you see praises waving at you. Thankfully, praises are
just two-door away from me.
Now, going back to the first question, how
does a strong person actually look like?
A strong person does mistakes, ALWAYS. She
is molded with all the things that life forbids. A strong person protects
herself but prioritizes others. She does not look for happiness, she makes
it. Most of all, a strong person has a
great foundation of family and friends. I may have a terrible life before since
it tested my strength, patience and emotional aspects but because of this, I
knew that I am human. I knew that there’s nothing wrong of seeking help. And everything that I went through is normal.