Candy Feels

From Our Readers: There Were Stories About Me and the Things I Didn't Do

You know nothing.
PHOTO Lionsgate ART Clare Magno

It started out when we were busy with our thesis. I didn't like you because you were rude and you had this attitude that you value yourself more than other people's opinion of you. You and your friends even criticized me for being a backstabber—which I'm really not!—and "trying hard" because I'm comfortable speaking in English.

I had my downfall when I was in a group together with your friends and when our project totally failed. They all blamed me and even accused me of saying things about all of you behind your backs. You even talked about it on Facebook where your friends tagged me in the comments section, telling me to come out. I took all the blame but I know that I didn't say anything about you and your friends. Despite other's people's words, I took things badly and stopped writing—the one thing I loved to do. It was difficult for me to open up.

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The very next sem, you confronted me through Facebook, asking me if I still had remaining hateful words for you. After, you accused me of spreading lies about you and destroying your reputation in school. I know that I didn't do anything like that, not even once in my life. You told me you got it from someone, and it feels like this war just won't seem to end. I just decided to apologize and swallow my pride when I was really itching to defend myself.

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Since then, everyone thought of me as a backstabber, a know-it-all, everything negative they could think of. You even told our professor about it even if that project issue happened a long time ago. I may seem tough but my mind was a complete mess. I was hurt because people were judging me and I felt alone. I felt that no one will believe me other than myself.

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I would always hear you and your friends call me your best friend and mock me. My guard was always up and whenever it was only me and my boyfriend, I would cry to him because I wanted someone to tell me that I did nothing wrong, that these were just stories about me and things I didn't do.

After attempting to end my life (it was just an attempt, thanks to my best friend), I started to heal slowly. Your sister was my boyfriend's classmate and she told him the whole story that the words you said wer all lies because you just wanted to ruin my life. But she knows that I don't hate you and your friends, that I already forgave you.

I also had many realizations about you. You're also that way towards your friends which is why they're starting to abandon you slowly. You like listening to yourself and misjudge people. You don't even look at yourself carefully, claiming I'm a backstabber, when you clearly are the one who is backstabbing. And lastly, I realized that only a fool would pity someone like you who did nothing but play the victim.

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I started writing again thanks to my boyfriend's encouragement. I know that you and your friends are still playing the victim and all of you are fools to believe false stories. Sometimes I laugh at your misery because you're starting to break down slowly. I guess it's karma eating you up slowly. I will leave you be. Take my apology as a token of gratitude for keeping quiet about your lies. And by the way, I want to quote Ygritte: "You know nothing."

If you need to talk to someone about your feelings, you can call these Manila Lifeline Centre at 02-896-9191 or 0917-854-9191, or the Natasha Golbourn Foundation at 02804-HOPE (4673), 0917 558 HOPE (4673), and 2919 (toll-free number for all GLOBE and TM subscribers). Remember that you are not alone and that it's okay to ask for help.

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Katherine Go 2 days ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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