My Old School

I’m not sure how many of you here are new readers, but let’s just say you all are new. A bit of personal backstory again (lol since this is a blog and I’ve probably written this a dozen times), I am a full-blood* Filipino and a Filipino in citizenship. If you’re not from the Philippines you’d think it’d be strange if someone tells you that having those two traits is a curse. Well, it kinda is. I say kinda only because there are Filipinos that are proud to be Filipinos or Pinoy as they call themselves. I am not that, in fact, I don’t know what I am.

I do love my country, but I hate the people that run it. I do love my friends (who are incidentally mostly half-bloods) but I hate a lot of the locals. I consider most of the local popular culture jologs (dirty, cheap, corny) so I stay away from it.

My professors would tell me that I’m a total prick for labeling things that are an essential part of the Pinoy identity. But I’m not Pinoy. I don’t keep smiling when hardships come. I don’t commit to Bahala na si Batman (which is kinda the equivalent of que sera sera). I don’t find Piolo Pascual and Marian Rivera attractive. I don’t use colloquial slang because it feels like I gargled mouthwash that’s made of acid.

Now you’re wondering, “Where the hell is he going with this? I thought this was about his old school!” We’re getting to that part. Be patient, young grasshopper. Below is a new video that ACS Cobham uploaded to YouTube showing the campus.

That’s my old school. The White House was where I first got my taste of real quality education. It housed us Kindergarten kids until we got to 1st grade in the brown buildings you saw in the video.

The White House now known as Heywood House

Now why the strong negative emotions towards Filipino culture and whatnot? Culture shock. At ACS, we were taught at a very early age that being different was normal. We had different skin colours, accents, languages, religions, and even food. The kids who were left out were the normal white kids. Talk about irony.

We knew we were all different, but we were kids so we didn’t give a shit. We’d sing songs, hold hands, throw toys, build toys, run around etc. because having fun was more interesting than looking at each other’s differences. I had so much fun learning while just being myself. Being different. I loved it. Then my father made a stupid life choice.

The culture shock I got from Filipinos when we returned was immense. I hated every local to their core until I reached uni. I brought my idea of being different was normal and severely paid the price. The normal I saw was conformity. Everyone acted the same, looked the same, thought the same, believed in the same religion, ate the same food, and I was the precious little blue flower in the garden of weeds.

I studied first at OB Montessori. I thought I was in a zoo. I literally thought I was because I’ve never seen that tone of skin colour. I’ve had African classmates and teachers back in ACS, but I never saw a dark-skinned Austronesian. In fact, I never saw a dark-skinned Asian. Which is why I thought that I was Chinese and that the Philippines was a province of China (but that’s for another blog post.)

Now the racist thought of being in a zoo was spawned from mistreatment not only from my classmates but also from my teachers and the staff. They hated that I was so outgoing, so disconnected from the system, a loose cannon in their highly militarised institution of good students. I transferred schools until I ended up in a homeschooling program.**

HSP was where I finally felt I was among people who understood what it meant to be different from the flock, to be a wolf in field complying sheep. Unfortunately, wolves are threats to sheep so we huddle as a pack to protect each other. Then uni snapped me out of it. I’m not a wolf. I’m a human being.

ACS wasn’t just an international school whose facilities were amazing. It creates beautiful human beings, sometimes too beautiful that people get scared. I don’t know what I am but somewhere along the way maybe the beautiful child from my past can show me. Maybe.

*There’s no such thing as a pure-blood Filipino. What I meant by full-blood was the typical Chinese-Spanish-Filipino blood.
**It was called HSP but we still reported to a school to take tests.

Envy on Father’s Day

If you’ve read my previous entry about my father, you should. It sets the situation for what you’re about to read. But if you don’t want to, it’s fine.

As all of you well know, today is Father’s Day, a great day to be a dad. I haven’t celebrated Father’s Day since 2009, basically because I hate my father. He wasn’t much of a dad when I realised that my mom truly really loved me. Whether or not that love is more than my father’s, I will never know.

I have a friend, who I think I wrote about a while back, and my mother and I are friends with his entire family. His father is a real father figure, strong-willed, caring, funny, all that jazz. I sometimes think “why couldn’t my father be more like him?”.

But what really got me was when his father showed his fatherly affection towards his kids. It’s the type of love that you see only in dads. Continue reading “Envy on Father’s Day”

Something You Always think “What If…” About (30 day Challenge, day 16)

Lourdes School of Mandaluyong
Image via Wikipedia

There is one thing that I always regret doing and I’ve been regretting it for about 6 years now I guess? I always thought “what if I never fucked up in High School? What if I actually took my academics seriously?” If you don’t know the history of my high school education… I graduated to high school in Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. I got held back a year there, then after 4 years I got expelled. I went to HSP (kinda like home school, kinda) and I spent two more years there, which shouldn’t have happened since I was only supposed to spend one year then I’d be off to college. But unexpected things happen Continue reading “Something You Always think “What If…” About (30 day Challenge, day 16)”

My Father and His Plan to Ruin My Future

So earlier today I tweeted something about my title of this article

The story goes like this.. I flunked out of my previous high school, Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, and my parents were upset, obviously. My teachers (and I) knew that I was extremely smart, unfortunately I was extremely lazy as well. Hence, my grades on the subjects I hated (which at the time, were more than half of the curriculum) would exponentially drop. On the other hand, subjects I loved had high grades eg. Electronics. I was expelled for my lethargic behaviour and I knew I was in deep shit. I only had a year to go before I could go into college! But I fucked it up. So my parents and I were searching for a school that would take me in with my barely passing marks. LSM upped my grades so that I would be able to transfer to a “decent” school, but alas, my father did not see the opportunity that LSM gave me. He instead took matters into his own hands. Continue reading “My Father and His Plan to Ruin My Future”

Something I Feel Strongly About (30 Day Challenge, day 2)

One thing I’ve always felt strongly about was the implementation of Philosophical subjects/classes in the last years of Basic Education. Ever since I entered High School, I’ve been questioning the existence of God, just like all atheists would do. But I knew that I would need someone to teach me more about it; I wanted to learn more and fast. The only teacher back then was myself. I would isolate myself for hours, contemplating and philosophising about EVERYTHING. Then from God, I slowly shifted to the self of man. All this happened before I got into college. But thing is, not everyone is as fortunate as I am to have such an extremely curious and daring mind. As early as 14 years old, I already knew the importance of philosophy, especially towards the students. Philosophy (and Critical Thinking) would open up a whole new level of thinking and understanding for these fresh minds. Since the Philippines only has 10 of Basic Education, philosophy would help mature the minds of these kids. I remember the first time when my friend said that he had become an atheist too because he saw what I meant (and at the same time something terrible happened which led him to understand what I was trying to say), I felt really happy. And he looked happier the coming years after. The feeling of actually helping someone improve their life, it’s really something.

But I’m not an atheist now. I realised that there would be no end in the battle of the existence of the supernatural divinity. I realised that life is too short to live, so why bother myself with such trivial matters. God? No God? Life’s more important than that! That’s why now, I’m practising Buddhism. I’m taking it slow, I’m not in a rush. Because no matter how fast I go, Death will always be there at the finish line.

30 Day Challenge LINK