kochtob's blog

i am me

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the thing with being around foreigners a lot is that it puts into perspective of who we really are. more than once, i've been asked if i was a "real" filipino, and in more answers than i care to think about, i can't help but get confused sometimes.

my skin is way fairer than the dusky brown of most filipinos, and instead of being blessed with dark expressive eyes, i inherited the almond-shaped peepers of some of my ancestors. since i look like i don't belong here, some foreigners are thrown off balance when i start conversing in fluent tagalog.

am i filipino?

turning political

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why is it alright for the u.s. to bomb iraq before, but everyone is going nuts about north korea testing 7 nuclear missiles?

i know, i know. nuclear missiles are a threat to humankind. and what north korea did was a direct violation of the UN security code.

but the u.s. did the same thing. sure, it didn't use nuclear missiles to bomb iraq. but can anyone really tell how many bombs the u.s. dropped off in the middle east? how many people and buildings did those bombs hit? didn't the u.s. violate the UN security code by bombing iraq on the premise of the "presence of weapons of destruction?"

ads for myself

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hey, for those of you here who might be or who know people who might be interested in getting into forex trading but don't know the mechanics, email me at kochtob@yahoo.com for details...

striking the balance

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    one of the reasons it took me such a long time to post again here was because i became too engrossed in my work. at one point, i even considered giving up writing, because as one colleague had carefully pointed out, i had much more pressing things to do than me scribbling words on paper.

    having a decent paying job certainly has its perks. i get to have financial independence, and it's comforting to know that someone is paying you well for the skills that you have, no matter how irrelevant they may be from writing. and in truth, i was happy...for a while.

Untitled

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what started out as a manifesto of personal journey has turned into a misinterpreted evidence of supposed misconduct.

it's so easy to transform written words into something sinister and foreboding.

blogs were invented to make the world smaller, but even in this infinitisimal, virtual world, we are not exempt from censorship. honor has to prevail, they say, over latent beliefs and ideals.

for some, it is easier to write because situations are put into perspective, things are given their proper due, people are placed outside of their boxed categories, priorities and values are pondered with a pen and a clean sheet of paper. for some, it is easier to remain silent, because to do otherwise would be to risk rash judgment and persecution.

dapithapon

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nahihirapan ang mga magulang ko na maging magulang ko, pero sa tingin ko, mas mahirap ang maging anak nila.

araw-araw, magsusuot kami ng maskara, mag-uusap, ngingiti, at magkukunwaring walang problema. pero sa likod ng aming pagbabalatkayo, alam naming may hinanakit at galit na hindi namin kayang ilabas sa isa't isa.

minsan nangahas na akong mangatwiran sa kanila, pero sa kabila ng aking pagpapaliwanag, pakikiusap, at pakikipagtalo, pinilit pa rin nila na ako ang mali at sila ang tama.

nakapagtataka nga dahil noong nag-aaral pa lang ako, alam ko na iba ako sa mga magulang ko, pero may mga pagkakataon pa rin na nagtatagpo ang aming pag-iisip at nagkakasundo kami. marahil, takot pa ako dati na ilahad ang mga saloobin ko dahil ayokong mabansagang suwail o kaya nama'y ingrata.

hindi ko sinasabing mali sila. iba lang ang mga paniniwala namin. paano mo ba naman kasi masasabi na ang paniniwala ng isang tao ay mas tama sa paniniwala ng iba?

pero alin ang mas mas mali: ang magkunwari sa sarili at tanggapin ang anumang itinutulak sa'yo, o ang magpakatotoo sa sarili at gawin ang lahat upang ipaglaban ang paniniwala mo?

kailan naging mali na magmahal ng isang taong hindi mo kasinglahi? kailan naging mali na maghangad sa mga pangarap na mahirap abutin pero alam mong makakamtan mo sila kung ito'y gugustuhin at paghihirapan mo? parati akong naghahanap ng mga kasagutan sa mga tanong na ito kahit na lama kong wala naman talagang tiyak na kasagutan sa mga ito.

pero iba ang mga magulang ko. matagal na nilang napagtanto na sila lamang ang tama at sila lamang ang dapt kong sundin.

walang duda sa aking isip na mahal nila ako. pero minsan, ang sobrang pagmamahal ay nakasasakal din.

gusto kong mabigyan  ng laya na makapagdesisyon para sa sarili ko. gusto kong mabigyan ng pagkakataon na gawin ang lahat ng kaya kong gawin habang ako ay bata pa. gusto kong magkaroon ng pagkakataon na gumawa ng mga sarili kong pagkakamali nang sa gayon ay matuto ako sa mga iyon. ayokong tumandang tulad ng aking mga magulang na hanggang ngayo'y hindi pa rin nila alam kung ano ang gusto nila sa buhay.

anak nila ako pero hindi ko magagampanang maging karugtong ng kanilang buhay. may mga pangarap rin sila sa akin na nais nilang tuparin ko, pero may pangarap din ako para sa sarili ko.

makasarili raw ako dahil sarili ko lamang ang iniisip ko. sa pagkakataong ito, marahil ay tama sila.

being back

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well, i'm finally back after a long, long time.  home is truly where the heart is, and for me home is here, no matter how bleak home may be.

i'm stil trying to get used to the heat. yes, after being in winter clothes for so long, the past few days has been hot for me. it's weird actually because i remember whining about the cold abroad, while seriously pining for the tropical heat here.  now that i'm here, i don't really know what i want anymore.

i'm still adjusting, trying to stay calm, trying to get hold of everything, trying to focus and keep my balance. the first thing that hit me, clearly stating to me that i'm back, is the return of the curfew. yes, i'm a fully-fledged adult but in my parents' eyes, i will always be the youngest child, hence the midnight curfew: i can't stay out beyond 12 midnight. i tried to present a valid argument, even considered protesting vehemently, but here, my parents' will is the law. the midnight curfew still stands.

Nostalgia

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It rained hard the other day, and since my house is beside this huge garden, the smell of wet earth wafted easily into my room.

It's funny how smells can trigger so much memories...how the simple scent of fabric softener can make you remember a loved one, or how the smell of sautéed garlic makes you reminisce of times past with your peers at a local restaurant near your university.

The smell of wet earth made me remember of times when I had evening classes during college.  Those classes were not exactly my favorites, but I surely did learn a lot from them.  It made me miss the times when my life, in a way, had a certain direction.  I knew what I was doing then, and I knew where I was headed to.

Second-Class Citizen

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Living and working abroad does not give one the privileges of dreaming.

Sure, it's a dream to be living in a country that is apparently more progressive than our own.  It's almost unreal living in a place where you have to have a four-season wardrobe.  It's great to learn so much about the different peoples you meet everyday, and it's a challenge learning a language that is so far out from what we've been used to.

But beyond that, it's a sin to expect for anything more.   

Maybe it's only me, or maybe it's only Filipinos for that matter.  No matter how many times we get cheated, ostracized, and stereotyped, why do we always expect the locals abroad to treat us as equals?  No matter how educated or uneducated we are, we will always be different in their eyes.  We may speak the language but the color of our skin, our mannerisms, our physicality will always mark us as "les autres."   It's sad to realize that "veterans" abroad are also victims nonetheless of this sydrome.  It's sadder still to know that these people are always hoping, always expecting, always hoping to blend in.

I don't need further angst

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Maybe some writers need the angst to be inspired...but i don't. 

The more anxious and disturbed I become, the more disorganized my thoughts are.  My words become incoherent and my writing loses their sense and structure. 

I am filled with inspiration when I feel calm and at peace with the world.  Words flow and stories have a way of unfolding themselves into these natural vistas and endings.  If I need to transpose into writing a negative emotion, I revisit past experiences and remember all thoughts and emotions I was undergoing at that time.  We all have our ways of writing, and this is the way I write.

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