I was having a casual conversation with an acquaintance when she called me out and told me I was dangerous.
The lights were already switched on, lighting the whole area of pavilion, that I can vividly see how her eyes fixated on me, trying to get a hold of how I would’ve reacted but to no avail. I munched my chips still, holding my phone in one hand, trying to compose a message I would never send. In between glances, I finally told her I’m not.
And for a moment, I thought, we are all terrified for something we can never understand. We spend our time figuring what ought to be and what would have been.
I stared at the students passing by, making their way out of school, straight to gate 3. I stood up and urge my companion to go home. I find no use of wholly opening up to someone I barely even know.
Or that’s what I really am, all this time. My walls were too high for someone to climb upon. Trusting someone is a gamble; it would take a life for me to risk.
I think it all boils down to one point – we can’t recognize what we feel and we can’t voice it out without having the fear of judgment.
This whole idea of depression isn’t something that is easily accepted and understood in the society. People would call it as something vague and shallow or just an excuse of a person going through it.
That is why we keep it to ourselves, trying to comprehend the life we can’t understand. We feel useless and not worthy of all the love given to us that we ended up pushing people away. The chaos and war inside our mind was too loud, all we could do was scream in silence.
And it was excruciating – to find your place in this world when you can’t even know where you belong. Until then, we give up and let our inner demons eat us alive.
I never thought Philippine media can get more complicated than what it is right now. I was indeed walking blindly with my aspirations without further knowing what I get myself into. And creepy as it may seem, I could actually picture myself out as a kid with a random bulky guy behind me whispering, “hindi mo alam kung anong pinapasok mo, bata”.
That was the vast effect of reading From Loren to Marimar for an aspiring media practitioner like me. It was gruesome yet addicting.
Honestly speaking, it is exhausting to hear somebody generalizing media people as bayaran. Bayaran; just like their perception of policemen and women who resorted to immoral work just to earn bucks. It is frustrating, really. And I don’t even know where to put the blame. Is it to the officials who have been blinded by their greed of power? Or merely the journalists who had no choice but to accept payola because one, they need to earn a living and two, the fear of taking risks which is already affiliated to their work?
And years from now, I wonder, will I feel the same way as them? Even if I will, I hope I could hold on to the principles I’ve long made for myself. Because I don’t want people to look lowly at me and see me just as someone whose moral and principles could easily be bought. Quoting a journalist from the article:
“Once you’ve crossed the line you can never go back. Your integrity as a journalist will always be under question; some people will consider you as someone ready to sell your writing or editing skills anytime to the highest bidder.”
Most of the people who knew me probably think I’m not gonna make it. I was timid, overly-sensitive + emotional person, and very very dependent to the people around me. That was I think the sole reason why I hardly convinced my parents to live independently when I was 18. They were terrified for the welfare of their most delicate child.
But none of those reasoning mattered to me. I longed for freedom and personal growth that no one could ever give but me alone. I’ve always thought I could do more than being swamped in an overly recurring environment. My heart was craving for risk; something that makes me want to feel alive. I remembered being caught up from pedestrian signals, chase a running bus, run back and forth at the University over again, and talk to different strangers just so I could reach my designated time and place for a University application during my first attempt alone.
I was so eager that I feel like I’m some kind of a protagonist in John Green’s story that has come to life – a sheltered teenage girl from second district who left home to find herself and comprehend the meaning of life that lies within.
Two years and I became more open to matters of social awareness. I’m a living witness of everyday’s impunity and life’s prejudice. This has been said though, I’m slowly learning to be keen for every vandals on the wall that has a message to convey, to look beyond the misery on the eyes of unfortunate people whose home are layers of carton stacked altogether on the corner of the streets. I’ve met different people and heard different life stories everyday where some of which are even life-enlightening.
What’s good about being exposed to these kind of scenarios was that I realized – you have to listen so you could see. The world has all the answers and all you have to do was to pay attention; hear the cries of the people that surrounds you, things they are fighting for and the truth that they believed in.
I remember an acquaintance saying, “Kailangan alam mo kung anong pinaglalaban mo, walang in-between o neutral. There’s only two sides, so choose”.
The thing is, life is too short to deprive yourself of the things you desire. Do not let the society dictates you of what is wrong or right; you have to stand up for yourself.
In my case, people has always defined my silence as an act of weakness; someone who cannot withstand the chaos and demands in the city. But the heart wants what it wants so I took the leap. And I’m just glad I did, because I’m continuously learning. About people.. about life.