Monday, October 26, 2015

My trip to the Philippine Embassy in DC

October 23, 2015
I went to the Philippine embassy today to have my passport renewed. I waited patiently for 1.5 hours to be called. During the wait, I was able register as an overseas voter. My brother has been persistent for me to vote as an oversees Filipino. A part of me thinks that I shouldn't but a part of me still thinks my vote matter.

The night before, I was rushing to find my expired passport. I knew I misplaced it. I know I did not lose it. First thing in the morning, I called the embassy. Classic scenario, I had to call multiple times until a real person answered and when I was finally able to find someone he hangs up. Then I had to call a couple of times. The gentleman apologized but by that time I was already annoyed. I kept my composure and talked to him. I told him about my lost passport and asked what I should do. He gladly asked if I had a copy of it and I said yes. He said just bring it and it should be fine. I trusted his words. I asked what the website said but he emphasized that it should be fine. Unfortunately, I regret doing so. I should have put more time into researching what to do. But who should I believe the website or the person working at the embassy? I believed the person. The website might not be updated and the guy should know better because he works there. 

So #995 was called. I went to counter #1 slowly handing out my paper work when I was asked about my my passport. I told them that I talked to someone earlier and was told that it was not necessary. He said that if I was claiming a lost passport, I should have a police report for it and would have to pay $160 for it. Then he added, if that I thought it was just misplaced. I should just find it and file again. 

Pretty much by now, you guessed it right, my blood was boiling in annoyance. I wasted 2.5 hours for nothing. Good thing, some Filipino couple was keeping me company during the wait. That wastage could have been prevented if the man on the phone provided me with accurate information. How will you respect an office if the people working in it doesn't know what his supposed to be work is. Providing wrong information is worse than not knowing. It shows a lack of respect and arrogance. Lack of respect for another person's time. Arrogance for being a know it all without not actually knowing. 

On my way back to the office, I thought to myself; being in the Philippine Embassy It felt like I never left the Philippines. Granted, my scenario can happen elsewhere. My experience in the Philippine embassy felt like home in a way that I don't really miss. 

This makes me feel that I have experienced an unjustified existence in my life. How can this happen. How can it be the same even if I am on the other side of the world and a different zip code? Probably because some things don't change even with a different zip code. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Killing the demons for 2015!

All throughout my life I struggled with the concept of beauty.  I never let it define me but it did become an insecurity at times. My beautiful mother always made me feel beautiful and appreciated.  She always reminded me that other people’s perception of me doesn’t matter until I let them be.
My mother was the epitome of beauty and grace. I get compared to her a lot. They said that I looked like my father. I wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be bad thing or a good thing.



I was fairly a skinny kid. I started gaining weight around 8 or 9 years old. When I was 7 years old, I was molested by playmate’s older brother. He told me I was pretty.  I never told anyone about it until I was in college and had my first boyfriend. Looking back now, that affected me more than I thought.
The weight gain didn’t bother me as much. I still felt normal. When I reach 10 years old, the teasing started. That was that virus of insecurity started multiplying. There were times that I did cry and my mom was ready to console. She was great at making me feel the best at my worst.  I was still part of the IT group. I was in a small school and we grew up together so we all had to be friends.  I was just the fat one of the group. I graduated as salutatorian in grade school. I excelled despite the insecurities that were building inside me.  

                                                                      My childhood pics

I moved to another school for high school. It was hard starting in a new school when you are a nobody. You are the typical pretty girl. I didn’t go to these people in grade school so I couldn’t reconnect. I struggled with relationships and having one. I was tall and big for most men so I wasn’t wantable.  Everyone was superficial. It is just the way it is. Either you are smart or pretty. If you are both then that is a jackpot.  I graduated with honors. I was accepted to a premier university. I knew I was pretty, smart, and adorable but it wasn’t showing in my physical appearance. All they saw what this chubby girl with breakouts and not so perfect teeth. I had great confidence but I still felt invisible.  

I became anorexic for a year in high school and my mom worried and push me into eating right.  It happened when my grandfather died. Then The year after, my dad lost his job, and I started gaining weight again. I felt guilty for being big again.

I wanted change. During my sophomore year in college, I went to a dermatologist and had facials to clear my skin. Got braces. Lost weight.  I became noticeable. I was the same person with the same wit and intelligence yet I felt that people started treating me differently.  I was getting asked on dates. I became admirable. It dawned on me how shallow society is. How I was judged and labeled. Family relatives told me that I looked more like my mother now.

College grad pic 

I had such confidence that I never thought. I excelled in everything. I was doing great in my classes. I dated the guy I fell in love with in my freshman year.  I even became University Student Council President in my senior year.

But I felt emptiness. I already knew how I was perceived. People were liking me with the wrong premise. We are told to look good on the outside so it reflects our inside because that is what people see. We need to be a package deal. Unfair as it seems that is how we humans are. We are made to like visually pleasing things. We like forms, symmetry, and perfection.

I was size 10-12 when I moved to the US. Back in the Philippines, I was considered fat.. extremely fat. Coping with my new life, work struggle, and familial loneliness, I ran and controlled my calories. I ate 950 calories a day and ran for an hour. I became a size 8. It was the skinniest I have ever been. I never thought I would be as hot as I could.  But I still felt fat. I felt not me. When I gained a little weight like a pound or two I was scrutinized.  My diet became an obsession. There was a time I was even purged because I felt guilty that I ate. 

 My skinniest

I dated Christopher. He loved me for who I am. I quit my job after a year and moved to Bethesda, Maryland. I worked multiple jobs until I found a break at National Institutes of Health. The multiple jobs lead to me to eat unhealthy, to overeat, and to stop running.  I was gaining weight. The consciousness to lose weight went outside the window since I have someone who loved me for who I am. Christopher never judged me and made told me I was beautiful every day. I had a lot of excuses. I try to justify my excuses are reasons but they weren’t. They were just my escape goat. 

Despite my weight game and my plump figure, I am healthy. I eat healthy. My vitals are always good. I get physicals twice a year (one mandatory from work and the other just my yearly one). But I still doubt myself. Not as often anymore but I still judge myself every day. I already know how I look and there are still people who tell me how I took as if I don’t know. Don’t they realize that I actually look at myself every day.

Recently, I was called fat by a close family friend. I have already heard it before. But I heard it again when she told another friend about me.  The thing about insult is it hurts the most when it comes from someone close. They think they are helping by being blunt but they are not. It has to be said a certain way for it to work. It has to be a genuine concern not ridicule. It should be a request made from love not a comment made of comparison.

So today, I pledge to lose weight (be healthier) not to impress other people but to finally kill my demons that have haunting me for the majority of my life.  It is time that I live myself not for other people but for myself. 

This time this is for real. Time is running out. I am not the same person back when I was 18 where I can yoyo. This is Real. This is it. Good luck to me! Hello 2015.

Me now.