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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

confessions of a plain-jane

I got sick of people thinking of me as super sosyal. Ngek! I’m not super sosyal. I admit that I have a little kasosyalan but I’m more of the barubal side. It’s like I’m 85% barubal and 15% sosyal. It’s because I believe that a little luxury is a positive reinforcement for saving up. Here’s the reason behind the barubal-sosyal percentage that I think is so blog worthy so that you guys would know.

When I was a kid, money was never a problem. My dad is a nautical engineer and a chief mate to boot and my mom’s a subcontractor for a lingerie company that makes stuff for JC Penney. You can say that they rake in so much money. Even if it was so, our parents taught us to be simple and humble. During this high point, my little brother was born. Daddy stopped going abroad to start a business using his earnings and Mommy’s business flourished anyway.

But neither of us knew that it would be the start of the hard times.

Daddy’s clients issued bouncing checks, which hasn’t been paid to this very day. Not only that, the company that mom’s working with, closed down when its workers went on a strike. My parents did every damage control measure that they know, but to no avail. We really hit rock bottom and that, we have to live with. There was even a time that we can’t even afford to buy a sachet of shampoo and I went to school having bad hair because I used bath soap on my hair.

Starting anew is really difficult. We have to make drastic economies to stretch our budget. Daddy had to go back abroad but it wasn’t easy. He’s already old (but not “OLD” old) and hasn’t worked as a seafarer for 10 years so companies thought twice about hiring him. Mommy kept on looking for other companies to work with. As for us, it was up to ourselves to do the household chores. We learned how to cook, clean the house, do the laundry, and other stuff we weren’t used to do.

But even if life is like that, our parents managed to send us to good schools. Knowing our parents’ sacrifices, we never dared to screw up. We also learned to work hard to get something that we want. It was at this time that I proved that we’re still “one big happy family” despite the financial hardships.

We’re ok now even if we’re still paying off some of the IOU’s from the past. It’s kind of hurtful though, because some people you considered as a friend, judge you with what you have and use it against you. It occurred to me that it was our “more blessed” family friends who stuck with us.

I don’t feel humiliated when I tell people that we hit rock bottom. It’s part of who I am. I consider that experience to be a knife that struck my heart but also the very same knife that shaped me to become a better person.

…and a very frugal one at that. =)


Danika said...

hmm that's nice. many rich kids don't even know a single chore. nor do they appreciate what they have. tsk tsk. it's amazing what hardships can do in the end. i consider that rock bottom a blessing in disguise. cos you sure learned a lot and grew up as a good and appreciative person. =]

kc said...

@ danika: yeah, i see it as a blessing in disguise. if it weren't so, i probably wouldn't know how to cook, clean and wash my clothes (a must-have when you're staying at a dorm). it's a good thing too because when people talk about losing everything, it isn't so hard to relate to them. =)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

Oooh, this is such a heartrending post. So true and sincere, I could figuratively hear your voice talking to the “human” side of me as I was reading this post.

I was never born with a silver spoon either and as a kid, I wasn’t likewise spoiled. I have to study well so that they could reward me with a new lego toy, or I should make ipon all of my baon so I could buy my own game boy. It brought me to two realizations: (1) it taught me how to spend money wisely, but on the other side (2) it made me a pakawala shopper as I am right now. But when I feel like I’m going out of control, a brief remembering of the times when I’m penniless gives me my much needed reality setting.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” sabi nga ng isang rape victim. And by the look of it, I can see that this life event of yours made you the stronger, wiser person that you are right now. And for that, you must be extremely proud. =)

kc said...

@ ruff: nakakasawa na kasi na sabihing hindi kami mayaman at average kami. correcting that connotation is completely useless so i decided to blog about it na lang.

anyway, we both learned the same thing about spending money wisely. and we too are victims of the pitfalls of being frugal, a one day millionaire, or a pakawala shopper as you put it. nevertheless, i still think it over before buying. i don't want to end penniless at the end of the day.

learning from a bad experience is something that one should be proud of. i think everyone is proud of being a stronger and better person after coming through a life ordeal.

time to party...sa bahay *lol*

arnie said...

i am sure you are very proud of your parents. galing nila...after all the downs, napagtapos ka pa rin nila. You are so blessed.
Sosyal? yun ba first impression sa yo ng mga tao? weird, kasi i didn't find na ganun ka. i guess, iba lang talaga pagkakakilala ko sa yo sa blog. Ni hindi ko talaga naisip na ganon ka. hehe...
Good day!

kc said...

@ arnie: yup! and i'm lucky that despite the high tuition fee in my school, i was able to finish nursing. i had an educational plan so medyo nabawasan ang gastos.

wow! a breather...palibhasa nanmbabalahura ako sa blog kaya di mo naiisip yun. haha! joke.

siguro naiisip nila yun because i express myself in english most of the time. sus! who wouldn't get used to that kung nung bata ka english na ang mode of communication sa school...at pag nahuli ka, magbabayad ka ng multa. at ayokong magbayad. *lol*

adam said...

you know, I love soy sauce too.

arnie said...

maganda yan. haha! naalala ko tuloy nung elem, uso din sa min yan e. may bayad pag nagtagalog. haha! (buti na lang kinaibigan ko yung taga-lista.:D) Ayoko din magbayad e. Di bale ng umutot sa upuan kesa malista sa Standing...meron ding Eating at Noisy. (irrelevant na yata.:O)
Honestly, weakness ko ang English. Kaya ko nagblog e practice na rin. At least, ikaw madali na sa 'yong i-pasa ang English Exam. Pero, bago yun...yung NLE muna! Waa! NEXT WEEK na! God bless sa 'tin!

alia said...

true, true. sometimes we learn the best things in life during the lowest of lows. :D

haha. multa sa di pagsalita ng english... 5 pesos ba tayo nun? pineperahan tayo araw araw, haha. ako rin i like blogging in english, simula kasi nung nag-college eh super hina na ng english ko (science freak na kasi.), buti na yung napapractice, diba.

Cory said...

sinong umaaway sayo? uupakan ko? bruha un ah.

every family i believe has their own share of ups and downs. i can still remember before nung nasunog ung business namin (we used to own a drug store chain dati at oo mayaman kame nuon) my mom was in the states then at pagbalik nya instant 10 Million na utang in damaged stocks ang bumulaga sa kanya. to think na my parents are separated pa so my mom had to endure everything by herself. yes kame din we still have IOU's sa laki ba naman nung nalugi samin.

but even if it seems too tragic, if u really think hard- we're still luckier than most. at kahit pa nung college eh lagi akong pumapasok na walang allowance, ok lang kasi atleast nakakapag-aral naman ako. we still have lots n lots to thank for. atleast tayo hindi batchoy (pgkain galing basura) ang kinakain natin. Atleast we get to sleep in our own beds. we're luckier than most and that's what's important.

ako din hindi ako nahihiya na aminin na naghirap kami. on the contraire, i'm even proud. it humbles me to know that we've been thru so much kaya nga marunong akong maka appreciate ng halaga ng pera.

teka di kaya kuripot lang talaga tayo? hahaha.

kc said...

@ adam: i have this notion that you guys don't like soy sauce. =)

@ arnie: *lol* natawa naman ako sa sinabi mo..mabuti ng umutot kesa malista. oo nga naman. pero nung elementary ako, isa ako sa mga madadaldal na babae. harhar!

kc said...

@ alia: oo nga, 5 pesos tayo nung high school. haha, di naman tayo nagbabayad eh. pero nung elem ako (di pa naman tayo magkaklase nun) mas strict sa dati kong school. dahil di naman ako nagdadala ng pera, tumatahimik ako pag breaktime. o kung hyper ako at gusto kong mag-ingay, binubully ko ang mga potential sumbungeras.

oo nga kinalawang ng onti ang aking english skills nung college so i write a lot using english tapos pag sumasagot sa recitation, english.

sosyal na pala yun..haha!

kc said...

@ cory: whee! soul sisters yata tayo...wala namang umaaway. nagsawa na lang ako sa mga nag-iisip na sobrang mayaman ang pamilya namin.

kerek! we are so lucky that despite the financial difficulties, nakapag-aral tayo sa maayos na school, nakakakain ng 10x a day (oops! baboy mode), may bahay na tinutuluyan. yung mga ganong simpleng bagay...

kaya nga kapag nangongolekta si cai ng class fund, nabibingi ako. haha! kasi parang, "huhu! ipon ko dapat to eh".

...ganon talaga cory kapag sagaran sa kakuriputan. haha!

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@KC!!! Re: Emmy friend at NY. Can I come with your friend? I so so wanted to watch the live primetime Emmy’s (have photo-ops with Heroes and Grey’s casts at that) and the international Emmy’s too. If Bandila wins, I want to be there to hear the verdict myself. Haha. As if I’ll ever be invited.
-Re the other thing: It took me a lot of brainstorming, self-reflection and psychoanalysis to come up with that decision. It was an ordeal of expediency versus integrity, and am happy to choose the latter. I’m just praying that everything will be worth it in the end.
Re: UP, I guess I wasn’t there. Or am I? If I’m not making discourses in front of nsg students, I’m either in media studios or hiding from them (in the Batasang Pambansa). My life evolves in that controversy before. =) Thank god that period’s finally over.
=) Hope ur doing well KC. =)

adam said...

No no no, we do! Reduced salt is the best! :) hhahaa so random!

kc said...

@ ruff: i don't know if he's sure to come because someone just invited him over. but i asked him to take photos if ever he's coming. and that he's accompanying his mom there in NY for chemo sessions so he better take care of his mom first. =)

i'm really proud of bandila's nomination. whee!

that decision is well worth it. and besides, sticking up to what's right even if everyone else opposes to it, doesn't make you a bad person.

*lol* you're already hiding? jeez, i never realized how in demand you are. but i'm happy that you helped change the course of this wretched event in the philippine nursing history. cheers ruff!

kc said...

@ adam: i just realized that i was actually thinking of fish sauce *lol*. that's what foreigners don't like about philippine condiments.

..and yes, reduced salt is the best! say no to renal failure. =)

adam said...

yes I love it when I get fish sauce on my clothes... it makes for a pleasant evening.

kc said...

@ adam: and everyone must be trying to stay away from you if you get fish sauce in your shirt. *lol*

Quincy John said...

my God!

this is a manifestation that indeed we should pass through shadows of grief, pressure and hardships to develop a very beautiful picture of our selves and our lives.

thanks for the post kc though m kinda late here. but this story should be immortalized to inspire more people that "poverty is not a hindrance to success" as it is often reiterated. It takes courage to climb the mountain of difficulty not a prayer to remove that mountain.

before my father died in 2001, he taught us how to live simply because I for one, is part of a family who is groping the rock bottom.

we struggled, we faced distress. but gradually we fought, we surpassed and we won.

we're kind of on the easy state now looking at the picture of having 3 members, my mother, my bro and my self, working for the family.

and if my mother would ask us, "do you have any regrets and frustrations?" hmmmm not even a hint.

truly God is a wonderful God.

and if people would create stories that would stain our name, we feel proud of it coz were on top of them.

kung baga, maraming pumupukol sa mabungang puno.

just fight back through kindness. because guilty feelings are more nastier revenge.

its a normal part of life na may mga taong di gustong masaya ang kapwa.

and those people don't deserve your time.

kc said...

thanks quincy. you have a lot of inspiring words to say.

nag-uumpisa na akong mag-isip kung tama ba ang aking motto na: kapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng tinapay..na may palamang bato. haha! thanks again. =)

quincy john said...

ha3 ang cooooolet mo pala kc ano..

make good.

thanks pala sa comment and congratulations once again.

kc said...

haha. oo makulit talaga ako...kaya lagi akong napapagalitan. haha!

and you're welcome. ngayon lang ulit ako nagtagal sa harap ng computer so nabasa ko na lahat ng mga blogs na madalas kong tambayan.

good luck naman sa results ng LET mo. =)