Harassment is something that a human mind could sense. When someone, even if it were a child, is being harassed, he or she knows it. Sexual harassment cases occur among girls and women of all ages.
These were the words I heard from the speaker of an anti-sexual harassment forum I attended when I was in first year college. I think most of these cases are unresolved and are only kept secret by offended parties because of two reasons: some threatened by their offenders and some kept their secrets by choice. I chose to be on the second category.
It all started one morning, when my parents were out doing the usual pamalengke for Sunday lunch. I was five. I loved to stay in the sala while waiting for my parents because I like seeing the goods they bought for Sunday lunch. We would usually have a festive lunch every Sunday so we would invite my father’s buddy, Bobong, who had been, ever since I remember, a close friend of the family. What would make us aware of his arrival would be his signature way of saying “Ayo!” as he’d climb his way up our house. He would come to our house in every occasion—big and small ones. Big ones like my younger brother Ponkik’s first birthday where he led the slaughtering of the big pig for lechon, my youngest brother Langgay’s dedication day and small ones like ordinary drinking sessions and tong-its card games with my father and their other friends.
Continue reading Victims and Perpetrators
It was two days before Christmas last year when I received a text message saying “Hi” with a smiley. The phone number was not in my contact list so it took me a few minutes before I finally replied and asked who it was.
I was surprised when she revealed she was “Dee…UPMin Arki.” I had met her in school. Someone might have introduced us and since then, every time we saw each other, we would exchange greetings and smiles. But that was all. I never remembered conversing with her or anything. She was that pretty chinita girl who was a member of the Dance Ensemble. I clearly remember that she was the frontliner in their number during our Freshmen Convocation Program.
She just wanted to confirm whom she was texting because my number was registered as “UP LitSoc” in her contact list. I told her that it was me and she apologized for causing any inconvenience. I said she wasn’t causing any. And from then, we exchanged text messages. We would text each other in the morning when we woke up, remind each other to eat meals, ask what each was doing, and late at night, we would say good night to each other.
Continue reading Her Words
Sarah – 25 anyos, dalaga
Myrna – 25 anyos, minyo
Hugna: Sa usa ka bar, naghulat si Sarah sa iyang barkada na si Myrna. Nagalingkod si Sarah sa ilang kanunayng puwesto, adunay lamesa sa tunga sa duha ka magkaatbang nga bangko. Naay duha ka menu sa lamesa. Alas otso ilang sabot apan mag alas otso y media na, wala lang gihapon si Myrna. Mga pipila ka minuto, miabot si Myrna.
MYRNA: Ganina ra ka ‘Day? (milingkod sa atbang ni Sarah) Sorry, I’m late. Nag-ilis pa kog lampin ni JR.
SARAH: (nikatawa) Lagi. Klaro man. Medyo nanimaho pa gani ka’g tae, Girl.
MYRNA: Tse! Suya lang ka. Buotan kayo ang akong JR uy kay natulog na gyud siya para makaadto na ko dinhi..
SARAH: Oh siya siya. Mag order sa daw ta noh.
MYRNA: Unsa man ni ilang menu uy. Puro man sad burger ug fries, klase-klase ray tawag. Maayo pa akong niluto sa balay.
SARAH: Char uy! Diha ka? Kanus-a pa ka natuon ug luto, girl?
Continue reading Ang Kinabuhi sa Usa ka Minyo