I don’t know how common it is in your circle, but in mine, I have balikbayans demanding a trip to Jollibee as soon as they get out of the airport. When I picked up one of my best friends before, our first stop after the airport was…well, you know. She feasted on chicken joy and burger steak–it made it her truly happy and welcomed back home. And then last month, I surprised a friend who came home a day after her birthday–and we surprised her not just with our presence, we also gave her cake and a Jollibee feast. She was so happy, I’m not sure what truly delighted her about the surprise–the FOOD or our presence. Haha.
I was brought up to be independent. As the eldest of four girls, my military father made sure his children were strong enough to fend for themselves. Modified versions of “damsels in distress”, we do not exactly live our lives like MEN, but our parents made sure we were never helpless. We might not be completely strong and skilled, but we were taught to be quick with problem solving. Panic, you lose, you know? Well actually, you can panic—but then you have to know what to do next.
Growing up, my Papa also made sure we engaged in a lot of sports, so I did swimming and track. Then in high school, I was taught to fire guns and began to compete in women’s leagues. Finally, as soon as we could secure a student’s permit, we were taught how to drive and I drove myself to school in College.
This song, “Sit Still, Look Pretty” makes a stand for women who, even in this day, are objectified and pretty much limited in society. It stresses that we refuse to be treated like toys and trophy wives–we don’t want to “sit still, look pretty”, because why should we be diminished to some kind of display right? Women nowadays achieve career levels equivalent to men; we are educated to exhibit excellence and we are even better than them, sometimes (if not always).
My Facebook and other social networking accounts may show that I have numerous connections, but those are professional and personal contacts (mixed with countless acquaintances). In my life, I have met and connected with lots of people but only a few people have made a true impact in me. My close friends are consist of camp neighbors (who are my childhood friends), high school friends (my soul mates), my dentist friends (college and workmates) and some loose friends not belonging to a specific category. These people hold a special place in my heart and I love them. Most of them I grew up with, but some I met later on in life–which shows that friendship is not determined by numbers and not even by proximity.
When I was living in London, I left my friends for two years. I was so far but I became very close to a lot of them while I was away through letters. My friends and I sent letters, back and forth, and soon enough my two years was up and I was coming back home. When I did, when I was finally back, it was as if I hadn’t left.
Technically I left St Paul two years earlier than everyone else because I went to London with my family. I never graduated high school in St. Paul and I do not have an alumni card (nor a yearbook), but I have the heart of Paulinian and no one can ever take that away from me. Growing up, we constantly heard the phrase: “A Paulinian is simple, warm and active” and although we used to chant it like robots, copying exactly how Sister Teresita Agana says it, the brainwashing seeped in. I am a Paulinian through and through and it is truly evident in me: