Friday, February 27, 2009

Wrong choice of friends can destroy your reputation....

My daughter found that out the hard way.

It is very sad that when last year, I've decided to transfer my children to another school this coming school year, it never crossed my mind that my daughter will leave the school with a stained reputation. And it irritates me to hell that somehow, it was my fault.

Just because this loser of a so-called friend of hers kept texting everyone and made her look like she was the one at fault, and I, texted her to stop it already, and her mother read it. The mother--the bitch where the so-called friend probably got her evil genes from--began talking to other mothers and teachers inside the school. As to what, I seriously do not know, but from the looks that those parents were giving my daughter (her friends told me), it wasn't good.

The mother and I had an agreement that I will talk to my daughter's friends, and she will talk to her daughter's friends to make both groups to stop fighting, and making bad remarks about each other. I did my part. I talked to the students. I went to the guidance office to officially tell the counsellor about the situation and asked him if he could talk to my daughter's group and guide them and make them stop making comments about the other group. My daughter's group stopped.

Obviously, she did not do hers coz my daughter's friends told me that today, they still made remarks while some of them passed.

I very much wanted to go there and rip them to shreds. But I do not want to add to my daughter's anxiety and stress. I hope I am doing the right thing. I know that there are times that diplomacy is the way to go. But I also believe that there are situations that cannot be solved by being quiet. So, if the situation worsens, I am going there to ask them what their problem was.

I cannot fathom why this mother is doing her best to spread the bad news around. I cannot imagine why this mother would want other people to know that her daughter already has a boyfriend at age 13. Pagkalat daw ba! Is that something to be proud of? Duh.

I am now thinking, if i do transfer her to another school, they will say that my daughter is a loser who cannot handle it. If I don't, they'll say maybe we couldn't afford the tuition where I am supposedly transferring my daughter to.

My daughter doesn't want to transfer then. Now, she's for it. I asked her, "Bakit? Don't tell me naduduwag ka?" To which she answered, "Hindi noh. Ayoko na dun. Nasira na reputation ko. Madami ng masamang nangyari dun."

She built her name in that school since Prep. She was on the honor roll, she's always merited for being good and kind. She was the favorite of most of the teachers. It's a shame that who we thought were our bestfriends (and mothers who do not have anything better to do) can ruin it.

I am teaching her now to learn from that experience and be very careful as to who she should trust next time. I am also making sure she studies hard for her written excellence exams this Monday. Her friends and I told her to beat the ex-bff through that instead. =)

Monday, February 16, 2009

And Ala Made Her Mark...

Luma na to. Pero ngayon ko lang nabasa. This post was taken from Ala-ism, Ala Paredes' blog:

guilty rich

In Manila, the divide between the rich and poor is an ever-lingering presence. It permeates our daily lives, like the brown blanket of smog that hovers over Metro Manila. And like smog, it is an ugly reality which we don't like but don't know what to do about. Some choose to do nothing. And who can blame them? It was the previous generations who stuffed up this planet and handed it over to us to fix when we born.

Now, now, that was an apathetic thing to say. Such a far cry from the bright-eyed compassionate idealist I used to be in my younger years. I donated to charities, participated in immersion and outreach of my own free will, and always gave to beggars on the street. Amazing what guilt can make you do. I was guilty because I was supposedly born into a comfortable amount of wealth and status owing to my famous father. I was guilty because I was chauffered to school every morning while the poor kids played on the street without shoes because duh, they didn't go to school!

And because I was so privileged, people around me made sure to pound in a social conscience in me so that I wouldn't grow up to be a bad rich person, you know, those spoiled brats who grew up with their yayas, and went to Ateneo, and are like so conyo.

I don't know if I was spoiled, but I had lots of stuff (which doesn't necessarily turn you into a brat, because I shared all my stuff), I had a yaya growing up, and went to Ateneo, and tried as hard as i could not to be conyo because I've learned that Philippine society considers that the biggest sin for a girl who was born privileged. If you don't want people to hate you and write nasty comments about you on forums, you have to pretend you don't like being rich.

At this point, I hope you've been following my sarcasm. I find it funny how people love to hate the rich. The ones who shod their heels in designer labels while the poor can't even afford shoes. The ones who were born with silver spoons in their mouths and whose only duty in life is to marry rich so that they won't ever have to work a day in their lives. When I read about people attacking them on blogs and internet forums, the collective chant seems to be, "Let's hate them. It's their fault the country is f*cked up. They don't know what real life is."

B*llshit, is what I say to that. Just because someone is rich, doesn't mean they're evil, and just because someone is poor, it doesn't mean they're nice. I've met some pretty abusive poor people, who prey on precisely the sort of guilty person I was. I don't even know what I was guilty about. Because I had shoes?

I mean sure, it is messed up that some people have shoes, and some people can't afford to have them. I am not minimizing the problem. But what I didn't understand then was that it wasn't my fault. I thought it was my job to save the world, and that I could be a catalyst for change by being a compassionate and selfless person. After all, it was my responsibility to be this way, to pay for the sin of being able to afford good things in life. I had to have a social conscience.

So I gave indiscriminately to street kids and beggars on the street. I always made sure I had change in my pocket to give, and occasionally I would even give a 50 to whoever lucky kid happened to cross my path. I sometimes carried food in my bag for them. I would even buy banana-Q from this one kid just to help him out, even though I'd never eat it. What happened then was that I became like a piece of hard, crusty bread discarded in the center of a public park for the pigeons to feast on. And these poor, suffering street waifs, well, they got mean and rude. I was nice to them, and they thought "hell yeah, you better be nice to me because I'm poor. Where's my money?!"

It got to the point where they would wait for me. They waited for me in packs on street corners in Katipunan. They waited outside restaurants and cafes like predators, waiting for me to finish my lunch and walk outside where they would ambush me. They would follow me down for blocks holding out their palms, and saying "Teh, sige naaaaa...". Of course, they had the the "kawawa expression" on their faces, but through time the kawawa expression became a threatening, bullying expression.

I don't blame them for being angry kids. They probably hate how they have to beg, and don't understand why people with shoes shouldn't have to give them money. And I understand that if manipulating other people is what they need to do to survive, then so be it.

But I grew terrified of these kids. They seemed to be getting meaner by the day, more and more they felt entitled. It got to the point where I was afraid of walking down the street alone for fear of being harrassed by them. During this time, I arrived home on my doostep sobbing more than once, crying because I was afraid of them, and hated, hated, hated them! Hated them for their accusing stares that said "it's your fault I'm poor, your fault, your fault, your fault!". And that made me feel like a mean, old rich person who didn't want to help the poor. Boo hoo hoo.

What I hated most was that I knew they weren't all as miserable as they made themselves out to be. I'd see them laughing and playing joyfully on the sidewalks like any normal kid, and would only put on the kawawa expression as soon as they caught sight me.

And all the time I kept thinking why me, why me, why have these kids singled me out? And now I know why, because I'm an idiot. Because I'm a push-over. Because I had a guilty conscience. I was a piece of bread in a park of hungry pigeons and they knew it. Of course they singled me out. I realized only years later that the reason why I hated them was because I felt manipulated.

This realization dawned one me last weekend when I went to Malate for the first time as a balikbayan. It had been years since I last went there, and I found myself seeing the place with fresh eyes. With all the chaos and madness there, so completely opposite from everything Sydney is, I surprised myself by getting culture shocked. It sounded ridiculous even to myself, I had been to Malate numerous times. And yet, I felt like I was in a completely foreign country and began to feel that mild sense of danger I feel when I'm in a new place. I felt dazed, overwhelmed.

We waited in line outside a club, and there was a scrawny little girl, stringy hair, no shoes, heckling the people in line, getting a bit invasive yet getting away with it because she was supposedly a "harmless" little girl. And she was a poor kid and you know how it is, we must be kind to poor kids because they haven't got much in life. I suspect this kid got her way alot, and probably earned some change each night from club goers standing in line. Everyone was nice to her, and let her get away with things that were a bit over the top, but I didn't buy into it. She seemed to be coming on a little too strong and kept getting inappropriately close to people.

Finally she came to me. She pointed to the sparkly, sequined eye-mask I was wearing (I wore a mask to go with the "Moulin Rouge" theme for night), and shouted, "Teh, akin nalang yan!"

I looked down at her and said, "huh?"

"Teh, akin nalang yang maskara mo!"

It wasn't a question, it was a declaration. And before I had even answered the little girl was already jumping up and down against me snatching at my face trying to tear the mask off. That was the last straw. I have a four-year old niece who gets bratty in the same way sometimes, and I don't give in because I don't want to nurture a bad attitude. Why should I tolerate a bratty kid, just because the bratty kid happens to be poor?! Furthermore, she's not even asking for money or food, she's asking for a sparkly, sequined eye mask for heaven's sake. She's certainly not the walking wounded.

I look her square in the eye and with my expression unchanging, I say, "Ba't ko toh ibibigay sa iyo?"

She seems at a loss for words for a few seconds. I don't think anyone has ever asked her that. Then she starts jumping trying to snatch the mask off my face again. "Akin na yung maskara mo!!!"

I lean back. I stay calm.

"Ayoko. Maskara ko toh. Bakit ko ibibigay sa iyo?"

The kid's eyes widened and she ran off. I don't know where she disappeared to, but I didn't see her again the rest of the night.

And oh, how I smiled to myself. Because that was the moment that I knew that it was not my fault. And if I'm going to give to the poor it's going to be because I want to and not because some little brat is trying to guilt me out of my money, and not because I feel I have to apologize to society for being born into status. Guilt is not the way to go. You'll be bled dry.

Maybe in the eyes of others I was a mean, old, (ritch) bitch who scared off a poor, little street kid. It would have cost me nothing to give it away. You can get those things at two-dollar stores on Sydney. The mask really meant nothing to me. I probably would've given it to her if she didn't feel so entitled to have it. Shame on me for waging wars on 4 -year olds.

But maybe what I was really waging war against was the idiotically, ridiculously guilty person I used to be. Just because you don't have money that doesn't give you license to be a bully. And just because you have lots of money it doesn't mean you have to be the sacrificial lamb (or sacrificial bread).

Posted by at 11:28 PM 116 Comments!

at meron pang gumawa ng hate-post ukol dito:


La lang. Nakakatawa lang.

Lumaki ako sa isang Katolikong tahanan... nag-aral sa Catholic schools. Nagdadasal naman ako. Tinuruan ako simula bata pa na maging mapag-bigay. Ginagawa ko naman yun. Lalo na pag nakikita kong deserving yung bibigyan. Siguro, medyo biased at hindi maganda yung sistema ko ng pag-identify ng deserving at hindi. Pero, wth.

Katulad na lang nung isang beses na imbes na punasan nung bata yung paa ko ng maduming basahan, ginawa niya, umupo siya sa gitna ng jeep at nangaroling... at hindi lang basta karoling... covers version ito... meaning, sarili niyang style. Iba-iba man ang lyrics at super nakakatawa, I felt great that day. Gave the kid 20 bucks for it. Yung iba, ganun din... meron pang isa, binigyan siya ng Goldilocks na Marble cake.

Yun ang maabilidad. At hindi niya nakalimutan syempre ang famous "thank you.. thank you.. ang babait ninyo..."

May punto naman si Ala. Ako mismo, may experience akong di magaganda sa mga namamalimos. Andun yung nasa van kami at bigla na lang binuksan nung lalake yung window sa tabi ko. Syempre pa, mamatay-matay ako sa takot. Galit na galit ang utol ko.

Malamang naexperience niyo na din ang mapunasan sa paa ng mga bata sa jeep. Di naman sa maarte ako, pero yun nga... maarte nga ako. hehe. Kasi madumi yung basahan. Eh lagi akong naka-tsinelas... ang siste, nadudumihan yung paa ko, imbes na nalilinisan. Kapag ganun eh, naiinis ako. Pag nainis ako, di ko na papansinin. Bad ko, di ba?

Marami na ring beses na yung mga batang namamalimos, pag hindi mo binigyan, duduraan yung window, aakmang babatuhin ka ng bato (and you thank your lucky stars that the light goes green), at meron pang instance na ginuhitan talaga yung kotse.

At least, si Ala, honest. Tsaka taga-dito naman siya at naexperience niya ito first-hand.

Eh yung isang nag-blog... teka lang, isang tanong lang ha... taga-san ka ba? Pinoy ka ba? Naexperience mo na bang maganun ng mga batang pulubi sa Maynila? At yang mga litratong pinost mo sa blog mo, san mo kinuha yan? Ikaw ba mismo kumodak niyan, ha? Ninakaw mo lang yan sa internet noh! Duh. Di lahat ng pulubi at mahirap, ganyan hitsura, eng-eng!
(teka lang, andami na palang tanong nun!)

Ay sus. Kapel.

Dati nung nag-immersion kami with the poor, ano'ng nakita ko sa mga bahay nila? Kumpleto sa gamit noh! Dinaig pa kami. May portable dibidi players pa ang mga etoh! Asteeeg... Meron pa nga silang mga parang gameboy eh...

Maraming mga "pulubi" ang paawa effect sa Pinas. Pero marami rin na talaga namang kailangan ng tulong... Ang problema talaga, how do you sort them out? Do you even have to?

Hindi lahat ng problema kaya natin. Do what you can, when you can. No one is forcing you to do things out of your own free will. Kasi ano na lang ang feeling nun? Parang balewala din. Pilit, ika nga.

Madaming instances na I feel really bad about not giving... I feel guilty... katulad ni Ala. Eh, unlike Ala, hindi naman ako RK (rich kid). Kung tutuusin, kung wala akong mga magulang na masipag, baka isa na ko sa mga nangangaroling sa jeep.

Yung mga nagcomment ng negative sa blog ni Ala, may point din naman sila. Kasi nga sa kultura natin bilang Katoliko, parang pinalaki tayong "mabait" na kung ano'ng meron, ibigay. Ganun lang. No questions asked. Hindi na magd-dig deeper into their subconscious to ask thy inner self:

And all the time I kept thinking why me, why me, why have these kids singled me out? And now I know why, because I'm an idiot. Because I'm a push-over. Because I had a guilty conscience. I was a piece of bread in a park of hungry pigeons and they knew it. Of course they singled me out. I realized only years later that the reason why I hated them was because I felt manipulated.

Kasi sa tin, parang naging second nature na ang maging gullible. Give-give-give! Tingnan mo nga daming nadedenggoy ng mga asawa, kumpanya (pre-need companies, agencies, etc.), false texts, gangs, five-six, etc. Kasi nga, may pag-ka-engot. Hehehe.

Pag fiesta, pag Pasko, pag Balentayms.... lahat give! Kapag hindi nakapag-bigay, guilty na yung feeling.

Syempre, kasama na din dun yung pag di naka-receive! Kasi nga nasanay eh.

Sino ba naman kasing nagpa-uso niyan?!

If I were Ala, and thank God I wasn't coz magiging controversial ako (di bagay sa kin), I would have told the little girl to wait for me after the party (kasi gagamitin ko pa yung mask ko), and if she's still there, she can have my sparkly mask (and my friends' as well), and whatever food I can "steal" from the entre tray... pero dapat, she asks nicely.

The little girl might spit at my face, or slap me senseless, but hey.. at least I tried to educate the poor little annoying brat. Who knows? Maybe with that simple act, I would have changed her life forever.

But then again, she might just slap me senseless.