I Am But a Promdi

One of the oldest traditions in my native country, Philippines, is to remove slippers or shoes before entering doors. And it happens once in a while even in these very modern days–and mostly to someone from the country side (provinces) who move to Manila for better opportunities. And believe it or not, some promdis (a Tagalog slang which means from the province) often they lose their sleepers/shoes in bus stops, transits/terminals, 24-Hour Adoration Chapels and many more others.

Regardless, such dense practice is ridiculed by some Westerners (who wear shoes or socks even in bed). Some mean critical latter even expect naive Pinoys to adapt to their ways of living instantaneously–probably, because we ought to bear the burden or the price of migration. What a hefty price indeed! And so their argument: We must blend with the rest; From music, to dance, to fashion, to language, to food, to human interaction. True! Adaptation is the key to survive migration. However, truer than true, adaptation be among animals may take a lifetime. In addition, how can adaptation be possible if one of the party is reluctant to make it happen? For example, limiting our potentials and opportunities; lack of training and development which can be extended to through various communities–all of these, or the lack of these deprives our growth.

It’s so unfortunate, to give up our identities to make a living. It’s so unfortunate to deny our roots just to make ourselves fit to people who see us less as individuals. It’s so unfortunate to be deprived of our own voice.

Personally, I can’t tell you enough, how embarassing to be ridiculed and mimic our thick accents even in our workplaces. It’s intimidating; and it jeopardizes productivity. In fact, even our qualified professionals and title holders are doubted of their competencies. Inevitably, we’re then inflicted by such demeaning treatment; we suffer inferiority complex. Consequently, many Pinoys end up doing blue collar jobs even if they have legitimate academic training due to prejudice and limited opportunities.

Nonetheless, and going back to my fellows from the country side: Let us ask ourselves, is it a crime to leave slippers or shoes in doorsteps out of our utmost respect and tradition? Yes, it may sound absurd—but is it a crime? Does ridiculing them sounds fair, warranted, and becoming? Are we living in most civilized times? Would it be big of a deal to teach/train them the Western etiquette? Because if no one would help them, of course, they would be misfit to the First World Society.

Finally, friends, Blogosphere : I am but a promdi. I am flawed. I am living in ruins. And because of my poor judgment—of being so trusting and gullible—I am in my knees marching the path of condemnation and extreme humiliations that no woman, I think could ever endure. But, don’t worry: I’m okay. “Let the Will be done.”

Lastly, may He grant me the wisdom and strength to carry on with my endeavors. May He continue to bless me the courage to carry on with my life amid all challenges and fading hope. But if death knocks in my door one day, know that I am not scared; know that I believe there is also grace in death. Again, this life is borrowed. I own nothing and no one in this world.

Thank you all! Happy New Year!

Aina Balagtas

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Trust

Is a sparkling glass

Once it’s broken

the pieces big or small

Cut fingers

Leaving prints

But in time

Cut will heal

But you got to wash it real

So please

Let us wash our cut and heal

Let us all get healed

Please

Please

Please

I’m washing mine

With tears

You want me

Wash yours?

It’s okay.

You don’t have

to say please

Please beautiful 🙏

Please 🙏

I’m not in school.

I’m not in banks.

I’m not in gym.

I’m in my back Serta

Lying Tall

In fluffy heels

Ugly But Bare And True

How about you?

Love you always😘

This Bipolar Me😘

This Lousy Liker

It is the toughest week for me as a public servant. But what’s tough isn’t my job at all, What’s tough, is my love for our people–for it is something I can never put before myself. To them, my principal, I owe my education and professional development. And I am very grateful.

In fact, I rather work for free than go against anyone. I rather be broke than put anyone at a disadvantage while my pocket flourish. To eat three-times a day at Wendy’s (with just side salads), nuts as my snack, any Tall at Starbucks in the morning, with lots of water till night—God, thank God! I’m so alive–I’m contented with that already. I don’t see myself less of anyone; nor do I see my people less of any societal standards. But I’m not against anybody doing any lucrative business. It’s just that I opted to be a public servant. I strive to be a good one everyday of my life–Just like how I strive for eloquence when I write–That if it is stupidity to work harder than hardest and be prudent, then I am one. Note that I didn’t get a medal, trophy, bus pass neither a sandwich from doing pro bono for many years. But I survived nothingness with my dignity intact–through–and–in the rich companies of my fellow poor–and it WAS my ugly truth! Oh, so ugly that I always fell behind returning likes and comments.

Yes, from going back to school, to volunteering, to exercising, to blogging (gosh!) to turning nights into days–winters into spring (at least)–I juggle it all in defiance of fate. I’m trying to make it right; and I’m not stopping . Though I have sworn duties, which make me work like a MOFO—-and yeah, I LOVE IT: I’m trying to make it right. Because, I see ugliness in all of these as opportunities to make a difference to many lives. It’s humbling. It’s beautiful.

What’s also beautiful? I love this blog too! Just as I love my blogger friends too–for this virtual wall is not wall enough to discount the warmth of those kind fellows who supported me for many years. It’s humbling too. Indeed, they’re my people too. So to them, my heart always belongs too regardless of my or their likes or even in the absence of those. They kept me company in this Digital wilderness since 2006. For that long? With this lousy me? Goodness! So I cry unabated for my shortcomings, because I know, they’re good people too.

I don’t own my heart. My people own it. They’re my strength. I don’t own my soul. My passion owns it. It’s my glory. My life is borrowed. I own nothing nor anyone in this world.