Seven Things About Me

Today, I chanced upon that video of Calysta Bevier performing on America’s Got Talent with Rachel Platten’s Fight Song.  If you haven’t watched that wonderful performance, you can watch it here.

I got teary eyed watching the video because her statement on ‘chasing dreams’ resonated so much to me. But that’s not this is going to be about. 😊

After watching her video five hours ago, the song has been on the loop in my Window’s Media Player and has probably played a hundred times now. My officemate seated next to me claims he has already memorized the song. “Like a small boat, on the ocean, sending big waves…” he sings.

Since, I’ll be gone for a couple of days to go to the beach, I thought of sharing some weird things about me like 1. playing a song over and over and over until my phone or computer explodes out of boredom to the same song. Or until my officemates walk out on me to plug their earphones and play their own songs.

Ready for the rest of the list? Here it goes:

2. I still have a milk tooth on supposedly my right fang. My dentist and I failed to figure out where my fang went. She said that it’s supposed to grow (inside my gums) even if the milk tooth didn’t fall out. But x-ray reveals no right fang anywhere.

3. I am naturally curly like that instant spaghetti that became famous on TV (oooohhh, that rhymes). When I was younger like in grade school, my mother would always ask my hair dresser to get me a pixie cut. I remember being teased in school about it. They say my haircut is for boys only. Today, screw those brats!

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that curly!

 

4. I am utterly (sorry for the adverb, allow this for emphasis) terrible in Math! I would always get a zero in our Math quizzes during high school. In College I got 2.5 grade in Algebra, can you believe that?! Haha! But maybe, I am not that bad because I got 1.0 in Statistics. Just don’t ruin my numbers with letters, okay? 😊

5. I don’t know how to swim, therefore soaking in the ocean or the swimming pool scares the hell out of me. I am afraid of the waters ever since I was younger. I remember I would skip washing my face for the fear of drowning. Haha! Weird. But recently, I got to float in the ocean without gripping onto anyone. Let’s see if it will still work on the coming days (remember, I’m going to the beach again). 😉

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I got to swim alone!

 

6. I daydream a lot. Some of my fantasies are: singing on a stage before an audience (hahahaha!), attending my book launching, going to places around the world and sleeping, yes, I am day dreaming of sleeping longer. 😁

7. Lastly, though I am a writer, I would admit that I am not good in spelling. Haha! I would check Mr. Webster whenever I am uncertain about the spelling of a word I am going to use like occasion, accommodate and rhythm.

 

Years ago, I wrote a blog about how stupid I can get at times. I included there my being terrible at Math and how I put the word ‘underscore’ in my file names during high school when our Computer teacher told us so. 😹 Some of my friends who read the blog was shocked to find out those things about me. They thought I was so smart that I never had those dim-witted moments. But the truth is, just like everyone else on this planet, I am not perfect too.

I guess that’s the reason for my sharing today, to remind myself that people are not perfect and that we are all a work in progress. And I am sharing my imperfect self to you so that I can also allow you to be just the way you are.

Let’s celebrate our uniqueness! Cheers! ❤

 

Dearest Tatang (A letter to my long departed paternal grandfather)

(I wrote this a few days before my birthday last February. I did not share it then because I feel this is so raw and it is still raw today. I could still improve this in terms of construction but that would take time when all I want to do is to share something personal and true this Father’s day. Happy father’s day to all!)

 

Dearest Tatang,

In a few days from now, it will be exactly 27 years since you first held me in your arms and bragged to everyone that I look like you. It’s almost three decades and here I am this morning, crying like a baby as if you were gone only yesterday. Crying is not even the word to describe it, maybe wailing is a more appropriate word. Why do you have to leave so soon? Why did you have to leave me without a memory of you or a lesson or at least one bonding moment? Can you please ask God to send me answers to my questions? I was barely a year old when you left and I didn’t even know your voice. Why?

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They say this is one of your favorite poems. They say you would recite it once in a while, maybe after getting occupied with your woodworks. Now that reminds me of the table where I am currently writing this, you made this and that’s why I so love this table. I even refurbished it with your bunso (my father), if you saw us that day.

If you only left when I was a bit older, say six or seven years old when I can already speak. Maybe you could teach me the poem and watch me recite it in front of you. You know, I was already reading English at five! We were already reading the Come and Play book at school.  You could have also taught me other poems or read short stories for or with me. You know Tatang, I adore stories today. I love reading and has in fact just finished reading four books this month. You will be proud of me.

They say that you’ve been also in the army. My father would tell me the anecdotes you told them when you were still in the battlefields. And I would imagine you, young, wearing commando’s clothes and fighting in the fields. If you were alive today, you would be happy that I am working with the government too. With the stories I hear about you, I know you loved our country too. You’re a father and a patriot.

They say you’re the best encourager ever. You would push your children to pursue and chase away their dreams no matter what. I remember when Ate (my aunt, the second eldest among the brood of six) would always recount the story of her taking the Licensure for Teachers’ Exam. You were always there for her – providing money for the exam and providing tons of encouragement. She passed the exam and started teaching in a private school. Now with your wisdom, you pushed her to transfer to public school where she can be more appreciated, both morally and financially. That’s what she did and she always tells us it’s one of the best decisions she ever made her entire life.

If you were alive today, I am sure that you will also be my number one fan. You will be my bank of good words and love whenever I feel lonely or discouraged. You will hug me each time I cry and I know you will teach me how to fight again.

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One of two surviving photos of my grandfather. I thought there’s a photo of us together but I found out that I only fabricated that photo in my mind after hearing stories of him saying I was his favorite apo.

 

They say you were a diligent carpenter, good husband and provider. You work with much concentration and precision. I think that’s one of the things my father got from you because whenever he works on my project, it’s really taking him long! He makes sure all the measures are correct, all the lines are ‘pantay’ and all the materials are complete. You also loved Inang and the kids with all your heart. I know that from the tales I was told.

My birthday is coming and I also miss Inang. You know, she would be the first person to greet me every time I celebrate my birthday. She never fails to be the first greeter, believe me. She would go downstairs first thing in the morning and greet me and of course bring me cash gift. haha! 😁 Please send her my love and greetings too in heaven.

I dearly miss you Tatang. If there is a time machine where I can travel back in time to see and meet you in person, I would trade anything for it. But maybe all I can do now is write you letters and read them out loud for you to hear. This is the only thing I can do now, to wait for my spoken words to dissolve in thin air until it reaches heaven.

Lots of love from your favorite apo,

Neris