Tuesday, January 18, 2005


That is how I describe myself socially. I am socially awkward. Being so probably strikes others as me being shy or a snob. I'm not shy. Heck. I could do cartwheels on stage--naked--and feel ok about it. So no I'm not shy. I'm not a snob either. I probably do look like one, considering my facial features (refer to pics). And I don't smile a lot. I don't wanna look like a looney all the time. hehehehe But no. I'm just that--socially awkward. How do I explain that?

Let me put it this way. When you put me in a room with somebody I don't know, I will never make the initiative to talk to that person. When you put me in a room with an acquaintance, the exchange of words will not start from me. I think that my problem is that I do not know how to connect. And if I do connect, I do not know how to sustain it.

Now has being socially awkward proven difficult for me? Well yes in a sense that it feels lonely sometimes having no one to talk to in the gym or while having lunch in the pantry. Or when I’m new somewhere, I find it hard to make acquaintances. But most of the time, no. One of the consequemce of being socially awkward is that I get all the chance to be with myself, to be alone in other words, and to actually like it. I actually enjoy being alone. In this sense I think my social awkwardness has benefited me. Plus, since I maintain a minimum number of social connections, I have developed a certain amount of independence.

Despite this, I acknowledge the fact that the world is huge and that it is inevitable that I make contact whether I like it or not. That is why developing my social skills is one of the projects I am working on right now. I see friends of mine who are not in the same situation as I am. I guess they're what you call the friendly type. I envy them because they seem to have friends everywhere they go.
Here's what I plan to do to be less socially awkward:
1. Always wear a smile. I guess this should be the first step. This would give the impression that I am friendly, or approachable at the least.
2. I would not mind making the first move. Still with a smile on my face, I will never hesitate to talk to people even if I don't know them.
3. I will remember names. I am so bad with names. People take it as a sign of goodwill if you remember their names.
4. I will eat lunch with other people. I usually prefer to eat my meals alone in the office. I realize that meals are naturally perfect means to socialize.
5. I will walk home with friends. I would have to suppress the loner in me. I think I have to practice being around other people and actually interact with them so I'd feel natural about it.

I hope these things do the trick.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

On Man's Reactive Nature

“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.” Bertrand Russel

Post-Mortem: Christmas Presentation

I should've written about this right after the aftermath. But then again, it would turn-out bitter and angry perhaps. But now that I think I have healed already, I'd probably give you a clearer picture of what happened that fateful day of the company get-together.

Well I told you how I fussed over my department's presentation. The preparations all went well. We were so ready logistically and emotionally. I was in high spirits that day. It was the day we'd show them who it was to beat when it comes to pompous display of creativity and talent. But it bombed.

Everyone felt good while we were changing. I could sense nobody's nervous. At least no one seemed nervous. When it was time to go out, my adrenaline reached its height. I was doting on everyone to give their best. We were called. We were on stage. And then it happened. We couldn't hear anything. That was crucial. Our acting relied heavily on the audio. It was downhill from there. It went that way for some 5 minutes I think. The actors were guessing what they're supposed to do. I even made the mistook of cueing two actors to go on stage when in fact it was another actor and my scene that's supposed to be on. That was a bummer. The whole thing was. And then what I feared most while we were preparing happened---the curtain fell, literally.

We were going nowhere but near disaster. Our managers had no other choice but to cut the performance altogether. There was no way we could hack it, what with the faulty audio and all. I couldn't help but cry. It was painful, especially since we devoted so much time and energy to it. All of it was for nothing.

Well not really. The experience was very humbling. I must admit I thought myself great,and that we were unbeatable in these territories. The thing is, even if we were, things will not always turn out good. And there will always be others better than we were, maybe not in terms of talent or creativity, but in terms of circumstance or logistics or whatever. The best performance I saw that day was not even close to what I imagined a good performance should be. They didn't have elaborate costumes or magnificent choreographies. Their concept was even a rip off. But they were prepared. They were organized. They had the equipment. they were in control. I guess next time we should concentrate on these things as well. Til next year.

Karanasan sa Bahay Bulilit

Habang ang lahat ay abala sa programa, ako naman ay nakikipag-usap sa ilang mga batang tahimik na nakaupo sa tabi ko. Nakilala ko si Angie at si Martha na parehong bihis na bihis. Ngunit di katulad ng ibang mga bata na nakasuot ng polo o blouse, yun bang bihis na panlinggo kung tawagin, sila Angie at Martha ay naka-gown. Tunay nga namang pormang pang-sagala ang kanilang dating.
Nakilala ko rin si Martin. Mukhang siya’y limang taon na. Siya’y mukhang malusog at dahil sa medyo mangitim-ngitim ang kanyang balat, sa palagay ko’y maaaring oras ang ginugugol niya sa paglalaro sa ilalim ng araw. Iisipin ko sanang di siya kakaiba sa iba pang mga bata kundi sa nakagugulat na tanong niya sa akin. Habang kausap ko ang isa pa sa kanila, lumapit itong sa Martin sa akin at itinanong kung ako raw ba ay bakla. Natigalgal ako sa kanyang tanong. Di ko akalain na sa murang gulang nya na iyon, may binhi na ng ideya ng pagkabakla sa kanyang kamalayan. Natakot ako na kapag inamin ko sa kanya, magulo ko ang konsepto niya ng sekswalidad. Natakot ako na baka matakot siya sa akin. Sinabi kong ako’y hindi bakla.
Marahil di siya nakuntento sa sagot ko sa tanong niya sa akin. Ilang sandali lamang ay narinig ko siyang kinakausap si Peter. Itinanong din niya ang tanong niya sa akin. “Bakla ba kayo?” Sumagot si Peter na may ngiti sa kanyang labi. “Oo, bakla kami.” Tumalikod lamang si Martin. Nagtuloy sa kanyang pakikipagharutan sa ibang mga bata na parang walang nangyari.
Di ko masabi kung anong konsepto ng pagkabakla mayroon siya. Di na mahalaga iyon. At least hindi pa dahil bata pa siya. Ngunit kung anuman iyong ideyang iyon, tayong mga nakatatanda ang dapat magbigay gabay sa mga batang ito kung paano mag-iisip ng tama tungkol sa mga bakla. Inosente ang tanong na ito sa akin ni Martin, ngunit ang reaksyon ko sa inosenteng tanong nya na iyon ang maaaring magsabi sa kanya kung paano buuin sa kamalayan niya ang konsepto ng pagkabakla. Maaaring ang sagot ko sa tanong nya ang magbibigay kahulugan sa utak niya ng kung ano ang bakla.

*This is the write-up I submitted for posting on the Web site that documents our outreach program last December in Bahay Bulilit.