The Hunchback of Rural High #MondayMemoirs #KwentongUPRural

I was never popular in high school. If I ever was, that could be because I was considered weird, which never offended me. I welcomed being voted as Weirdest Girl in Class two years in a row. For me, that meant I was not one to conform just to be called cool. Besides, when you’re a writer, people just tag you as weird. Hollywood fed us that idea.

Most probably, though, if I ever was popular, it was because I was the Hunchback of Rural High. I was the short girl looking like Quasimodo.

I didn’t use to be like that. I did not have a humped back prior to high school. I was a shy kid in grade school who only started coming out of her shell in fourth grade. By sixth grade, I was jumping from tables, singing the oldie La Bamba shamelessly…Then a teacher sent me back into my shell, accusing me in front of the other kids because she supposedly didn’t like something I said about her favorite student.

I was dumbfounded and confused. I did not even understand what she meant until days later! Worse was, she thought wrong as I was not referring to him. Unfortunately, my self-esteem already suffered because of it. Why a teacher should even get offended by a student practicing the right to choose who to like or not is beyond me. By the time I reached high school, I was starting to develop the humped back.

Well, that was my backstory, no pun intended. High school started and soon, boys from my batch would sing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) theme song whenever I passed by. But I never hid or ran away; I just passed by poker-faced. I knew they’d get tired of it one day. Thankfully, the bullying didn’t go further than that. But of course, I resented what they did; I had feelings, too. Some years ago, an old teacher reminded me of the time I had the guts to tell him to tell those boys, whom he was friends with, to get off my back (again, no pun intended).

The funny thing was, to be honest, I resented them because I thought they were referring to the “mutant” part, which, for me, translated to “uber-ugly girl”.  It was months after that I realized they didn’t exactly mean it that way. They meant something else. Surprisingly, that lifted my self-esteem a bit. I was glad they were referring to something else that I could do something about.

So, I did do something about it. I started trying to fix my Quasimodo posture. If you think it was easy, it wasn’t.

It took a lot of effort and self-awareness to prevent the slumping whenever I walked. I could actually feel the physical pressure every time I tried to keep my back straight. If you were near me enough, you’d probably hear me groaning a bit. It worked, though. I may not walk straight as a model, but I got my intended result. I didn’t know the reason for the humped back until Home Economics in the fourth year: a book explained that slumping was a sign of insecurity. I thought, Well, that figures.

The teasing stopped. A boy in senior year attempted to revive it by singing the TMNT song as I walked nearer. It was the classic case of someone bullying somebody else to compensate for his own low self-esteem. Instead of feeling hurt or getting mad, I was amused and tempted to say, “What, you’re still not over that?“ He never tried again.


My whole high school life was like everyone else’s. I had to struggle with different issues (body changes, grades, crushes, friendships, lack of confidence). However, if there’s one thing that made me different, it was this early experience.  It hurt emotionally and physically, but that was part of what made me, me.

I don’t resent those boys anymore. I forgave them a long time ago. I’m thankful they somehow taught me to stand up straight. Take it figuratively, take it literally, it’s up to you. Besides, I kind of liked the ninja turtles 😊



Usually, I don’t follow the Philippine time when I post stuff. But I wanted this posted already before I forget or lose interest again. While it’s still Sunday in most readers’ part of the world, it’s already Monday here, so this counts as a #MondayMemoirs post.

I’ve already mentioned about my turtle “background” before, but this is a bit more revealing and personal. I wrote about it because our high school reunion is coming and I’ve been asked to write my HS experience for our unique souvenir programme. I was able to submit three write-ups (Rattling Cages and two trivia pieces). Unfortunately, this one did not meet the deadline. I was supposed to share this after the reunion, but since it’s not going to be part of the programme anyway, I went ahead and shared it. (By the way, my school was the U.P. Rural High School, ergo, the use of the “Rural” word.)

I do have a DISCLAIMER: I don’t, in anyway, hate my old school. This is not to speak ill of it. I shared this because (1) my growth was important to me, and (2) to show that things like this happen anywhere. Ultimately, it is up to us to choose which life lessons we’re going to keep and how we will use them to our advantage.

Any comments or thoughts? I won’t mind. Let me know below! Or maybe share your own experiences? 😉


My Happy List

As promised, I am listing my Not-Really-Bucket List. Will add more pics and links soon. Remember, crossed out and in red means done. Here we go…


1. Smile at people all day and see what happens.

I was 13. Heard a smile could make others smile, too, so I experimented with trying to spread joy. It was going well until a lady looked at me like I was crazy…

2. Do something really amazing and meaningful.

3. Ride the roller-coaster.

4. Try a scary sport or adventure.

5. Learn to swim.

6. Learn a third language fluently.

I’m partial to Spanish, which won’t be so hard to learn given our country’s history, plus I can find people to converse with. Just partial, not sure. We’ll see…

7. Learn Baybayin.


This is just to show my handwriting. Baybayin/alibata should be written vertically actually

Baybayin is the ancient script of our ancestors. Why it’s more commonly called as alibata is a bit of an issue, but that’s become the better-known, more commonly used term. We forgot about it while under the rule of Spain. We just began re-learning it in the recent decades, but people have just really started appreciating it this past decade (sadly, mainly because they think its characters look cool when used in visual arts).

I don’t claim to be an expert in it as I’m not that quick yet in reading words in baybayin/alibata. I do claim to be a baybayin/alibata advocate, though. I think we should start really including it in the curriculum instead of simply teaching it under the Filipino subject in passing. Anyway, I tend to follow the Spanish-influenced baybayin/alibata because the use of the cross makes reading words easier, for me, at least.

Related post: How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way

8. Learn a martial art.


Learned the martial art Muay Thai. Forgive the sort of leggings here. MT shorts are too short for better movement and I couldn’t find my cycling shorts that time

9. Learn to paint on canvass.

10. Travel around the Philippines.

11. Visit Disneyland with my family

Japan, Hong Kong or the US, whichever opportunity presents itself.

12. Travel around Europe.

13. Visit New Zealand.

14. Visit The Louvre Museum.

15. Experience the West End.

16. Experience Broadway. I literally mean being in New York watching shows.

17. See ‘WICKED The Musical’ live.

18. See ‘CATS The Musical’ live.

musical playbills

I was lucky to have watched both CATS and WICKED (and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) with the help of my dearest mother and of one of my friends…Thank you!!!!

19. See ‘Les Miserables’ live.

20. See ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ (JATD) live.

21. Act in a real stage play/musical (school skits do not count).

That almost came true. I was to be 1/3 of The Narrator in JATD. There’s only 1 Narrator but the Director wanted three for various reasons I won’t enumerate…*sigh* I’m not giving up yet, though. Who knows?

22. Go to the Netherlands, watch Veerle Casteleyn perform live onstage, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her.

23. Create a fan page for Veerle Casteleyn.


Veerledom cover photo 2

24. Watch a Lea Salonga stage musical, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her.

How I got the twofie deserves another post. I was not able to get Lea‘s autograph, but this is okay already, right? The main purpose was to meet and talk to her face to face 🙂 Meanwhile, I have seen her perform live onstage in some of her musicals.


Miss Lea and I. Standing beside her only emphasized my plainness, but who cared???


I never heard about BABY The Musical till then, but I loved it!

The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*...See this faded ticket

The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*…See this faded ticket

25. Attend a live music concert that I paid for.


This concert, I enjoyed. Isn’t it obvious who I’m a fan of???

Back in college, I was able to attend three live concerts, all for free. One was because I interviewed a band for the school paper. The other two were care of the college radio station I worked for. I wasn’t even really a fan yet of all three. I watched because I got in for free. So I decided I wanted to be able to attend a concert I was really interested in and I would pay for my ticket. I did. Watched Mariah Carey’s live Manila concert. It wasn’t so nice an experience, actually. We were standing far from the stage and I think there were rain showers as well. Somebody was taking pictures and his/her phone got snatched from his/her hand.

26. Sing solo on stage in front of everyone.

I’ve got stage fright. Easier to conquer if with others, not so alone. I wasn’t even too crazy about the idea, but one of my best friends asked me to sing a song at her wedding. I thought better that than be a bridesmaid. I would have hated all the preparations. Also, I wanted to be able to say I did that even just once in my life. Turned out I’d do it several times, but not without me trembling inside everytime. At an office Christmas party, I actually messed everything up! Yikes! Epic fail! *hides* (No pics to show…thank goodness!)

27. Win an award or medal.

They’re not like some big awards or anything, but I guess I earned them. I did not know how I could get any, but I ended up getting some anyway. *Speech alert!* “I would like to thank the school paper and the radio station for those awards….” If they’d be interested to know, yes, I still have those certificates. They’re on my blogfolio’s Certifications & Awards page, filed under “PEER AWARDS/RECOGNITION”.

I did win with my village friends (twice, I think) when we played volleyball in the local summer league when I was a teener. Then when I was already working, I also won second place (or was it third?) with the School Administration Team (playing volleyball also) when the tertiary school we worked for let us join the Intramurals.

I played for the Administration team during the Intramurals back when I worked for a tertiary school. I’m third from right here. At my left (facing camera) is/was the Girl with the Smiley Heart

28. Choreograph a dance number.

Did that thrice in college for three different groups on different occasions. Won for me a Star of D’ Night Award, too, among other things 😉

29. Learn to play a musical instrument,

I think these count even though it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how they work


The kubing (jaw harp)


The bungkaka (bamboo buzzer)

30. Be in a respectable indie film playing a bit role.

31. Start a good family business.

My current idea: A sandwich place.

32. Build a reading and hobby room.

33. Buy a vehicle for the family.

34. Live in a beautiful house where it’s peaceful with our family.

35. Enjoy our future grandkids.

36. Get a master’s degree.

37. Become a teacher.


These are just some of the tests I gave the little boy

I somehow have some illusions of becoming a teacher. My kids are here, though, so I think I can cross this out. I’m a proud teacher, too — our incoming first-grader (as of this writing) actually passed his exam with flying colors! Someday, I might teach students in a real school environment, maybe about writing…

38. Become a radio DJ.

I always wanted to be one. Then when I was 13, one of my friends became one of what were called as Junior DJs and I would tune in to the city’s local station so I could listen to her and several other kids. Not without envy even though I knew that envy wasn’t good. The opportunity to become an actual DJ knocked when I was in college so I did not let it pass. I was even surprised I had the guts to try. It paid off, fortunately.


These were taken just a few years ago, just to show my radio colleagues I kept souvenirs all these years

39. Become a writer.

I wasn’t planning on making this my career because of the starving artist “syndrome”, but I am here because I think I sought this fate anyway. Fate is still part-effort.

40. Finish my novel.

41. Write/create a comic book.

42. Fall in love.

My real name’s hyphenated now, so, yeah 🙂

43. Tell someone my innermost secret and hope not to be or feel judged.

44. Give birth to a live, healthy baby…

God has yet to grant this wish. We are not giving up yet so we hope he lets us have the baby the next time. We’ll try to be ready.

45. See both/all our kids graduate from college.

46. Build a home for the aged whose own families have abandoned them.

47. Buy a land and build a large animal shelter, for abused, neglected, and  abandoned animals.

48. Grant scholarships anonymously (when I’m already rich, of course!).

Why anonymously? First, I won’t do it for recognition. Second, I won’t want other people to know I have money because people can use and abuse you when you have money. Three, I won’t want anyone approaching me for his/her kid’s scholarship. Let’s face it, a lot of kids don’t like to study. I wouldn’t want to feel sorry and obligated to send to school someone who doesn’t really want to be in it. Also, some parents will only use the kids to get the money and spend it on other things, not for the kids’ schooling. Someone else who’ll be working for me will handle applications. I’ll have a say on it, of course, but I won’t want people to know.

49. Build my Dream Museum.

50. Attain peace of mind.

51. Die happy.

52. Do my best jump for a jump shot.

This is My Happy List Item #52. What about it? CLICK HERE.


With the permission of all the peeps here, I shared this to JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project‘s Eyoälha Baker and she posted it on her project’s Facebook page

53. Finally watch Patti Austin in concert, live.

UPDATE (Dec. 3, 2018): I was trying to check if there’ll be any show I’d like to see next year. I was going to save up. Then I saw THIS. AAARRGGHH!!! I’m so mad that I didn’t know. I’m even madder that the date is so near and I can’t go! No extra money for it *sniff* What are the chances that a Good Samaritan will be able to see this immediately and send me a ticket in time for the concert??!!!

54. Try vlogging.

Done. Well, doing it now. I have THE SANDBOX SHOW.


I said I’d “try” vlogging because I am not sure if it’s something I can keep doing for years. But, at least, I’ll be able to say I didn’t waste my opportunity. And at least, I’m learning new stuff “tinkering” with YouTube. Meanwhile, I aim to buy better-quality equipment in the future. Right now, I make do with what I have.

55. Watch ‘Lion King The Musical’ live.

56. Meet my fave content creator Andrea So in person and take a twofie.

Not only did I meet her and took a twofie, but I watched her live during a taping/recording of an episode of a game show! She actually reserved a seat for me! It’s a long story really, which I will share soon (as of this writing, they have not shown the episode). I am happy that she now know I exists.


Okay, that’s My Happy List. I’ll add more to it if I think of more. Care to share your own happy list, though? Feel free to do so and put the link in the comments! 🙂

NaNoPoblano 2022 (Ext.): My Well-Appreciated English Translation

#NaNoPoblano Day 14

STORY TIME: Back when I had my old blog (now gone), I made a translation of this beautiful song. I just wanted my non-Filipino friends/followers (don’t know what to call them) to understand and appreciate the song I was sharing.
Surprisingly, there were several bloggers who asked permission to copy and post with credits, which I allowed. I didn’t really take notes of the whos or wheres. Back then, it would not have been easy to trace every one. But through the years, I learned how to find some of my works posted on other sites/pages. I think this translation has somehow been shared several times, they don’t anymore know who wrote it. I saw a post once that credited me as “Anonymous”. 
Anyhoo, I am so happy that this translation is appreciated by people and I am seeing it shared across social media platforms. It’s so nice to see it shared on Facebook! Thank you!!!
Again, I do have a DISCLAIMER: It is NOT the official translation of the song. I only claim that I wrote THIS translation.
This is my English translation once again. It was posted on Facebook along with the creator’s video of the singing and piano rendition of the song (I couldn’t post the video — I think embedding is disabled).

Lulling Cradle posted on FB


NaNoPoblano 2022 (Ext.): Creepy and Cringy Songs

#NaNoPoblano Day 13

The more that I dive into social media, the more I find out about things. They are mostly good to know, but sometimes,..Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack.
I had always wanted to do reaction videos. I’ve done some food product reviews on my YouTube channel. Reviews, not exactly reactions. They are similar but not the same. I did post about rapper EZ Mill’s song PANALO. Still, it did not feel like a reaction. I was planning on reacting to the newer CATS The Musical movie but I haven’t gotten around to it. Full movies posted by YT do not come for free.
Fast-forward to TikTok. When I encountered Greg Foster‘s videos, I decided to finally do reactions on his reactions. Actually, more like do reactions with him. The reason was simple: The songs he features are usually creepy, cringy ones. Thus, he calls it his Creepy Cringy Lyrics Series. He has amusing reactions and it’s good that he already has the songs recommended to him.
The plan was to create one whole video featuring three song reactions that I blindly chose from his list. However, I soon found out that all three together would not meet the 10-minute maximum length allowed. In fact, I had to also split two of the videos in halves.
There are people who actually know the first song. It’s a “kid’s song” after all. The third song wasn’t cringe but could be creepy for those not used to such plots (I knew the plot immediately). It’s the second song that fit the “creepy” and “cringy”definitions to a T.
This is where I now explain what I meant by “bad things”. I’ve been following Greg eversince. People keep suggesting songs that he should react to.
I tell you, I am shocked at the amount of songs out there that if you really listen to, would shock you, too! Surprisingly, there are even songs by famous artists and songwriters we admired during their time. These have made me lose respect for them.
They sing of graphic violence. They sing of child grooming as if it’s okay, pedophilia, child abuse. They sing of abduction, of raping as punishment. They sing of murder like it’s the most natural thing in the world. They sing of beating, chopping off body parts, playing with human entrails…To be honest, they’re much worse than just creepy and cringy!
I am appalled that such songs were created, even recorded and played on radios! It makes you think why no one taught of looking into those songs. If they could simply write such songs like it’s nothing, maybe there’s something there that’s closer to reality. Maybe they should’ve been jailed.
Not all of the songs are that crazy, though. Some are funny. I am sharing the three videos I reacted to below. They are already compiled in one. ENJOY!!!

You might want to visit Greg’s TikTok if you want to hear more.

NaNoPoblano 2022 (Ext.): “Walking the Path”

#NaNoPoblano Day 12

Social media has made access to various things available to us. But suddenly, too, anyone can be an expert.
For instance, I have encountered so many posts related to astrology and horoscopes. They tell me what I am, what I’m not, which signs are the best/worst in this or that, what I should do to find true love or become rich…Etcetera. The funny thing is, those who tell me these are mostly people who are not qualified to talk of such things. If anything, they are delusional enthusiasts pretending on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms, nothing more.
If you don’t know how to identify the legit ones from the fake or wannabes, be careful what information to believe and follow.
This post is not about astrology or horoscopes, though. I only want to emphasize how much easy it is to fall victim to wrong information. So what I do is I take most things with a grain of salt. Once in a while, there are posts that I feel could be true. I take tests, read interpretations, listen to explanations. Then I decide if I should believe.
Below is a psychological test that you, yourself, might want to take. The next one explains what each mentioned item represents. Mind you, I believe this. I had my psychologist-friend, Melany, look into it. The account owner’s professional background does add to her (owner) credibility.
Of course, I had my answers. For fun, my friend interpreted my answers. I have to say, I’m satisfied. Would you like to know her findings?
This is verbatim:

J.Gi. Projective Test Audio

“Backgrounder: I used to profile people using psychological results. I’ve written a lot of personality profiles in my lifetime. One of the tests I use is a projective test similar to the lady’s. But I’ve always done it in pen and paper. So, this verbal recounting is something new to me. But the principles still follow. In my training, ‘House’, ‘Tree’, ‘Path’ and ‘Water’ are all deeply symbolic.
What you recounted:
  • House – Western style, big, roomy, comfy
  • Trees – Tall, their effect is calming
  • Path – leads to concrete, easy access, but not too easy
  • Water – you said you played and splashed
Melany’s Take on what it means
Your family life is normal. Somehow, you idealize it. Typically, this means your background is normal. Your marriage and kids are OK. Some ups and downs, but all normal. I do not detect trauma.
Your attitude towards life is live and let live. You’re not highly anxious. You have a good sense of self. You know you can do things, you’re capable. Self-confidence is at an average level. When you encounter difficulties, you just see them as something that can be overcome. No drama about it being too hard for you. You tend to be hardworking. This is related to the last point.
You are open-minded. You are attracted to the arts, as you tend to be idealistic. You have a good aesthetic sense. You have a growth-oriented mindset.
But you are very practical and down-to-earth. I saw this with your choice of container (same as mine). As I mentioned, you tend to be industrious. You like to touch and see the results of your labor. And physical objects matter to you to some degree. In the end, you balance practicality with your idealism. Your tendency is to be a productive member of society. Family-oriented. Pleasant person to be with generally
Well, that’s all!
Tell me if any of what I wrote hits the mark!”
I think she got me perfectly!

NaNoPoblano 2022 (Ext.): Me as a Fashion Endorser

#NaNoPoblano Day 11

Let me tell you about the time I got an offer to endorse a brand (that was actually last week, heee…). I was surprised — more like shocked, really — to receive this message on Instagram:
Say whaaat? 
Three questions came to mind.
1. What gave them the idea that I’m into gothic fashion?
2, What gave them the idea that I’m actually into anything-fashion?
3. What gave them the idea that I’d be a good fashion influencer AT ALL?!!!
I thought hard and realized they just got alerted by keywords that I (and others) used.


The rambunctious spirit tries to trick the little girl

From me, they picked up “gothy”, I think. I remember sharing the Girl Scout (My Name is Sky) video on IG.  You’ve probably seen it here. It is a song from the musical Beetlejuice. The lyrics include the word “gothy” to describe a main character.
It was my first attempt at various things related to video-making for social media. That included my first attempt at making a character using a filter, which I have now mastered so that it doesn’t look that weird anymore…
Anyway, maybe also, for some reason, they saw the duet video, traced it back to TikTok, then reached the little girl’s solo. In the comments, I said,
“Context in the musical, if you don’t know: Beetlejuice, a rambunctious spirit, makes Goth teen Lydia lure in unsuspecting little girl, Sky.”
“I just finished doing a duet of THIS duet so I can add Lydia the Goth Teen.” 
My work has helped me learn to recognize truth from fallacy online. That message looked like something that could be sent randomly, or a template to send to people who are likely to say yes. In other words, I wasn’t really special. OUCH.
So, okay. I didn’t appreciate the strategy. But it could be a legit offer, nonetheless (do people still use this word?). Free is free! And it’s still a little boost to the ego.
However, how gothic was gothic going to be? ‘Cause we all know with what we usually associate the word “goth”. Darkness. Evil. I didn’t want that!
I just wanted cute gothy clothes like those worn by my fave NCIS character, Forensics scientist Abby Sciuto, and comedienne Gen X’er Janeane Garofalo in various films. Heck, add Jenna Ortega‘s It Goth, Wednesday, on the list.


Janeane Garofalo as The Bowler in the film Mystery Men


Pauley Perrette as the cutest goth Forensics girl Abby Sciuto in the NCIS series

I checked the brand’s IG accoumt. Being a fair person, I wanted to see if I might like them, and to send a proper reply regardless of my eventual answer. I am not a rude person.
The photos were dark (well, a given) and, frankly, not of good quality. In fact, there didn’t seem to be a consistency in the quality of shots. There were jewelry also, but as expected, they were designs normally associated with darkness — skulls, snakes, coffins, the ram head, weird crucifixes, and the likes.
There were a few supposedly religion-related jewelry possibly meant to make the more religious clientele more trusting of them. I maybe wrong, but anyway, I have long ago sworn off wearing religious items as accessories, because they aren’t. The only accessory I want that is wrongfully associated with goth is the ankh. I didn’t even see any.
I did more digging and looked at the comments. Woooow…the amount of comments saying “Scam”/”Scammer” was overwhelming. I found these, too:
Needless to say, I will not take their offer. In fact, I have decided that I see no point in sending them any response after finding all of these.
So, yeah, just like that, I lost the chance to be a model (HA HA!!!). Model, my foot.
Sorry, not sorry. Thank you, but no thank you.

NaNoPoblano 2022 (Ext.): I Joined a Video-Poem Marathon

#NaNoPoblano Day 10

Last December, I read a call for poets:



It sounded like a really relevant project. Naturally, I decided to join. I wanted to be a part of something this special, and I wanted to represent my country! Good thing that I already had a poem in mind, something that I also translated already. All I had to do was record.
Fast-forward to today. Well, actually, I posted about it on my Facebook writer’s page right before midnight here. I’ll just copy-paste, I hope you won’t mind.
HERE IT IS!!! I honestly did not expect to be included. Hoped, but did not expect.
For one, they already received so many entries when I submitted ON THE LAST DAY. I really forgot about recording it! So in the wee hours of the morning, I combed my hair well and let it down, powdered my face and put on a little lipstick (that’s my idea of wearing makeup), and prayed to God I looked decent enough.
I’m not into poetry-reading (and might never do it again), but this was required. I had to write down the poem because I hadn’t memorized it perfectly. Tried so hard not to be that obvious that I was reading it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t record using the preferred sizes but was told my output was okay.
So fast-forward to today. I followed/subscribed to them because I do want to check out the other entries. Most importantly, I wanted to see in case I got included. Guess what? After a few weeks, I FORGOT to check! I also wasn’t checking my notifications in my private account. I just happened to NOW. Guess what again–somebody ACTUALLY tagged me 2 days ago!
So yeah, here is my entry. Sorry in case it seems the voice is not in sync with my lip movements. Some may remember this poem. I’d like to say “Enjoy” but I don’t Know if you will, HA HA HAAA!!! That said, I’m really just glad to represent! I dunno yet if there are more Pinoys there (I won’t be surprised). Oh, and special thanks to Sir Santiago Villafania 🙂
MyPoem #FloresDeMayo #FlowersOfMay #Filipino #Tagalog #Poetry #SpokenWord #VideoPoem #TLRC #TranslationandLinguistic #PENInternational #InternationalMotherLanguageDay #WorldPoetryDay #IMLD2023


I’m ENTJ – Can We be Great Friends?

Hi, guys!!! I missed greeting you a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY yesterday. But there, I just did, ha ha! Hope everyone did have a good day, whether with a special someone or on a date with her/himself. Many also call it INDEPENDENCE DAY. Doesn’t matter what you call it. As long as you love yourself, alright? I’ve said this before, you’re already whole. Finding him/her/them is just icing on the cake.
Speaking of loving yourself, it takes self-acceptance to do that. Accepting who you really are. Today, we have someone who has learned to accept herself. She is very glad to share what she is and explain her personality type. She is actually an expert on things like this.
In a recent post, I mentioned finding a new friend through social media. This is her….ENJOY READING!!!

I’m ENTJ – Can We be Great Friends?

I’m assertive and confident. I’m your ENTJ friend who speaks openly without reserve. I may not be tactful sometimes, but I have your welfare in mind.
Why do people want to be friends with the Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging (ENTJ) personality type? Why do people like having an ENTJ like me around?
If you want to be good friends with ENTJs, read on.

The ENTJ Approach to Friendship

group-of-friendsThere are certain roles people associate with ENTJs. He can be the baseball team captain. She can be the squad leader. No matter where we are, ENTJs are natural-born leaders. Because of this tendency, we can be a little intimidating. Well, very intimidating.
But the thing is, we get past your defenses through charm. We’re extroverted and we reach out to you. Even if you are the shyest person in the room, we make an effort to talk to you—especially if we have a serious motive behind it.
I can’t count the times that I took it upon myself to befriend the quietest, most withdrawn person in the room. Usually, I’m curious. A lot of times, I see a potential talent. My brain starts thinking, “Where does this person fit in terms of my goals or the team’s goals?”
From a certain perspective, this goal-oriented motive may seem cold. Why be my friend when, apparently, all I want to do is make good use of you?

It’s Not All that Bad!

ENTJs love opportunities. We can’t seem to pass one up. We see people as great resources of connection, skills, and abilities. We see the utility of these gifts.
Sometimes, you’re blinded by your own beauty and brilliance. ENTJs see it and we want to make you shine. We want to put you in the action plan. But before that, we need to sell it to you.
And here’s where our charm is put to use.

What an ENTJ Means by “Enjoy”

ENTJs like me work hard and play hard. Our lives are meaningless without hitting targets. If you think like an ENTJ, you will target any aspect of life.
Even during vacay, I also have targets. I like to keep things in line, I like to tick the boxes. Checklists are my friends.
This can be very annoying. Imagine, you try to relax and embrace the moment. Meanwhile, I go into full-on commander mode. (The Commander” is the moniker the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) enthusiasts give to the ENTJ personality.) I am trying to hit the key targets while you’re there, chilling. Or trying to.
Irritating, right? Grates on your nerves!
Still, you know ENTJs are right. If not for us, you won’t get up your a** and beat the deadline. Or clean your room. Or complete your homework. Or wash the dishes.
In the vacay scenario, we’re the ones with the itinerary, knowing where all the essentials for the beach are. Plus the emergency meds, the phone chargers, the directions, and so on.
We’re nothing if not efficient. Yeah, we know (almost) where everything is, and we’re the ones in charge of packing.
You need people like us.

Want My Advice? Brace Yourself

Even if ENTJs tend to be tactless, we have your best interest in mind. Genuinely.
However, if you ask any ENTJ for advice, brace yourself. ENTJs do not tend to hold back when asked their opinions. This is especially true when you ask them the most stimulating question of all: “What do I do to achieve (insert a goal)?”
ENTJs are drawn to objectives like a magnet. When we see targets, we strategize how to meet them.
We will listen to your story and interpret it as this: “Oh, my friend is having trouble with (identifies issue).” This is followed by the thought, “What are the possible ways to solve this issue?” 
Because the ENTJ personality is a thinking-versus-feeling type, count on ENTJ friends to use logic more than empathy. We like to dish out sensible advice; the problem with the advice is it’s “too cold”, callous even.
My husband says I lack a compassionate understanding of situations. “So what if you don’t feel like it? Ignore your feelings, just push through the pain!” We’ve had so many marital spats because of that statement! (I married a Feeler, an INFP, in particular.)
Bottomline (oh, how we love that word): If it makes sense intellectually, then ENTJs don’t know what the fuss is all about. After all, the rest are just feelings. Get on with it.

How to Strengthen Your Friendship with an ENTJ

How do you nurture your friendship with an ENTJ? I’ll give you a few tips here to handle us.
friends-with-ENTJAs an ENTJ, I take myself seriously and what I need from others is some light-hearted relief. However, since I’m very goal-oriented, the objectives come first. DO NOT belittle my goals. If you diss them, you diss me.
As a leader, I need encouragement to pursue my self-made objectives or the team’s objectives. (Yeah, I guess you could say I’m a wee bit of a sadomasochist.)
It would mean a lot if you let me know that you support me, even if I don’t hit my goals. I fear failure and incompetence the most. And sometimes, I withdraw from friends and family when I believe I’ve failed.
When I do, I feel like a complete failure, a total loser. I feel unworthy of my existence, inept, pathetic, worthless…Oh, the mental agony. Oh, the hot gush of shame.
It’s during those low points that I cut myself off from your valuable support. If I know you have my back, if I know you still love me even if I’m a useless piece of sh*t (my perception, not yours), I will be more receptive to talking and getting support.
Don’t act too patronizing, though. A little patronizing would be enough. (It’s called encouragement, I reckon.)
Inspire us ENTJs to pursue our goals and the team’s goals. It’s gonna be good for you in the long run. **Wink!**
Lastly, for your mental health, never take what I say too personally. If you’re touchy about your achievements in life, I’ll grate your nerves.
ENTJs like me don’t mean to put you in a bad light or make you feel insecure. It’s just how we view the world. For me, everybody has scorecards and I can’t help but blurt out the points.
Suffice it to say, some friendships with ENTJs are burned because of our bluntness. My own weak point is my flawed inability to recognize feelings as valid reasons.
ENTJs magnify the importance of logic and undervalue the importance of emotions. That’s why we need Feeler people in our lives. For balance.

Best ENTJ Friend Matches

MBTI experts say our Best Friendship Matches are with the following personality types:
  • ESFJ (“The Consul”) – Because we’re both extroverted, we get into a lot of fun (and trouble) together. Our problem is, when we’re together, we’re prone to overspending!
  • ENFJ (“The Protagonist”) – We’re so cool together because you mellow me down. I wouldn’t know what to do if you didn’t tell me I was stepping on somebody’s toes.
  • ESTJ (“The Executive”) – You keep me grounded with your laser-eyed focus on the practicalities. I can enjoy debates with you for hours! You don’t easily get offended.

Worst ENTJ Friend Matches

Now, what are the three Personality Types that Clash Most with ENTJs?
So now, you know about me. Nice meeting you.
Wait a moment! You may be destined to be my best friend or my worse enemy due to our MBTI typology. But remember one thing: The MBTI is all about tendencies.
A lot of other things can result in great companionships…or not. Well, look at me. I’ve been married for 17 years to a person who’s supposed to be my worst match!
It’s a very interesting story, but we’ll get to that the next time.


MelanyMELANY HEGER is a mom of two and a former psychologist. She’s a nonfiction writer based in Manila, specializing in mental health topics. She regularly contributes articles to online publications such as thephilippinesweb.com and danielaaron.com. One day soon, she will publish her books.

NaNoPoblano 2022 (Ext.): I Love to Eat My Cats and Write

#NaNoPoblano Day 9

I found something on Facebook the other day. And it reminded me not to slack off from writing. I saw a post about the importance of punctuations but I lost it in the newsfeed. It said something like “I like to do three things. I enjoy eating my cats and…” doing something else that I don’t remember…I just laughed out really loud!!!
I’m also glad that I understood immediately. Quite frankly, I’m kind of a stickler to the Oxford comma. It’s that “comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect ).” The definition is from the Oxford Languages site. I also only Googled it.
cartoon showing an example of the defense of the oxford comma
When I write, I often find myself deciding if I should use it or not. I don’t often feel right not using it and that bothers me. The shorter sentences give me that dilemma. I always think twice about adding it or not. These modern times, not adding it is acceptable. Hard to accept for someone like me.
It’s a lot easier for me if they are made of phrases — putting a comma before the last phrase makes sense. You want to use the Oxford comma to better send your message across, not confuse people. It makes your sentences readable, too.
Would you or would you rather not use the Oxford comma?


UPDATE: FOUND THE IMAGE from The Language Nerds FB page!!!

Oxford comma


NaNoPoblano 2022 (Ext.): Have I Forgotten?

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#NaNoPoblano Day 8  (Please don’t make me explain) I have NOT forgotten. Just was not up to posting. I am now, though, so… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! How have your first eight days of the year been? Mine, well, other than the usual things going on, social media played a part in making my days more […]

NaNoPoblano 2022: Creep Creeping In

#NaNoPoblano Day 7

Social media is never in want of jerks, trolls, and a-holes. They’re everywhere. And if you’re “lucky”, you’ll get the special kind, the creep. I had one the other day.

I made a comment on someone’s photo posted on YouTube 6 days ago. Days after, I got a response, but it was not one I expected. He started with an intro, then a declaration of love with an invitation to be “friends”, then an invitation for a voice call…Ha! What a joke. I’m sure I was just a random target. I didn’t get picked for my character and very pleasing personality, that’s for sure.

Here’s the exchange. I didn’t erase or cover the name, username and email. He made the comment public so there’s no privacy being violated. Chances are they’re all fake anyway. It’s clearly a scam.YT Creep


UPDATE: Once I reported the account, I received a new response,a supposedly religious kind, from what may have seemed like a different account. But one look told me it was the same account, just a different name. I paid it no mind anymore.