Oh no, another meme! Blog pal Rhodora has tagged me to unlock my closet. It took me a while to figure out what to include in my “Infamous 5 Secrets” because the truth is, I am a very secretive person. I don’t know which damning secret to choose, there’s just too many of them, haha. But I’ll let you in on a few of them – just five (fortunately for you):

1. When I was 12, I fell head over heels in love with…Robby Rosa of the boy band Menudo.
Yes, you read that right. I daydreamed about seeing that Puerto Rican boy and hear him sing to me, “If you’re not here, by my side…” complete with pawis (sweat) streaming down his forehead. And then I would hold out my panyo (hanky) and mop out his sweat like a true-blue Pinay fan. πŸ˜› Sheez, what was I thinking? Does anybody else remember these guys? Among the members of the group which first visited Manila, only Ricky Martin is the only one of note, perhaps the only one who has made a visible splash in the music scene. But even his fame seems to be short-lived.

2. When I was a kid, I used to wear really short shorts, even when I go out of the house.
That doesn’t seem like a secret, does it? But wait. One time, as I was going outside our house to buy something from the local store nearby, somebody whistled at me and said, “Sexy!” I took one look at the guy, and I shuddered! He was so panget (ugly), and he was intimately looking at my legs – malagkit ang tingin ng damuho! I was so embarrassed, that from that day on I never wore shorts outside our house again. My mom wondered for a while why I would run to our room to wear a skirt over my shorts before I went out on errands. I don’t think I ever told her why. :)

3. My sisters and I rode the public utility jeepney (PUJ) without paying for our fare.
A little background: I was in college, and when I got my scholarship allowance, I decided to treat my sisters to the movies at the local cinema in Monumento Grand Central. A time for some sister-bonding. Well, when we got there, to our dismay we found out that the movie ticket prices increased! I didn’t have enough money with me because I brought an exact amount that covers just the movie tickets and our roundtrip fare. We had a dilemma: either we go home disappointed, or we just watch the movie…bahala na si Batman. πŸ˜€ While we were pondering this over and arguing with each other, the grouchy ticket lady at the counter was already giving us irritated stares, so I decided quickly: let’s just watch the darn movie and figure out what to do later.

Our crime: we took two rides on PUJs all the way from Monumento to Tondo, sat as close as possible to the driver, and passed on other people’s fares when they paid. As you can tell, we got away. We were pretty scared that the drivers would find out, fortunately, our trick worked. We even made “kandong” so that effectively only two of us were occupying seats. Once we got home, all we could do was laugh about it. Yep, we’re pretty evil sisters. But for what it’s worth, I did feel bad about the jeepney driver who got shortchanged. I would repay him a hundred times now, if only I knew how. :(

4. Once, I accidentally burned my finger while using the soldering iron, and I never told anyone about it except Baggy.
I absolutely hate soldering. But sometimes the machine breaks down, I flip over the circuit board, and find that there’s a loose connection somewhere. Should I call dah boyz to fix it, or should I just do it myself? Heck, I’m too much of a feminist and I wouldn’t be the one to give them reasons to think that I’m the weaker sex (hah!), so I would rather do it. But I simply suck at soldering (and that’s an additional weakness (gasp!), aside from computer programming). My hands would sweat and my grip would be very slippery. And yeah, I’m careless, too.

5. I went on forced hunger strikes when I was in high school.
This is a long story, but I’ll try to give you the short version. Due to circumstances, my family was forced to go back to Manila and left me in Baguio to finish high school. I was vying for honors, and my parents thought that my chances of graduating at the top of my class would diminish if I transferred to another school. I don’t know if that is still true, but back then it seemed to matter. Anyway, I was 13 going 14, and I had to live all alone in my aunt’s house. My parents would send money as sustenance, but since we were not rich, they could only send a very limited amount at a time (how does P100 pr P200 a month sound to you?). More often than not, the padala didn’t come on time, and I was forced to budget my money. There were many times when I had to eat only once a day. I never told anyone in school about it because I was too embarrassed to let them know of my predicament. I was even more embarrassed to try and borrow from anyone. Heck, no! In times when I didn’t have enough money to buy lunch, I would go to the canteen at the university not far away from our school and just stay there, hoping that no one from class would find me there. One time, I just felt so frustrated at having to deal with all those things (shouldn’t someone be taking care of me?!!), I burst out crying in front of my classmates. I told them a half-truth: that I was just lonesome, and that I just felt sad about being separated from my family. I didn’t tell them the other half: I was hungry, I didn’t have enough money, and I just couldn’t tell anyone!

There’s a silver lining to this story, though. I did graduate as the top of the class. Yay! :) Maybe all those hunger strikes forced me to concentrate hard, huh? Mind over growling stomach. My, those were the days.

Who to tag now? How about my evil sister Lai, Hazel and Dimaks? Ok guys, the torch is yours! That is of course, unless you’ve already held it and passed it to others already.

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34 Responses to Shh…Secrets

  1. Leah says:

    Who did not fall in love with the Menudo then. I still remember the screams. Although I did not daydream about them much.

    So you studied in Baguio too huh. Ako rin.

  2. Belle says:

    I was touched by number 5. You were not alone. I went through the same plight when I was in high school. I walked to and from school because I couldn’t afford a tricyle ride.

    but you are right, behind every cloud, there is a silver lining.

  3. verns says:

    Oh Kathy..please read my looonnnggg post..we’re on the same boat, I mean before :) Kapiranggot lang yung baon at skip na rin minsan para lang makatipid.

    Ang buhay nga naman…parang life talaga hehe.

  4. rhodora says:

    Oh, Kathy! Thank you for this! I thought nakalimutan mo na.

    As for #5 – Oh, it melted my heart. And pricked my conscience too. I don’t know if during that time you were in high school in Baguio, I was also at UP Baguio. Yup, nasa baba lang ng school ko ang school mo.(Baguio City High, di ba? I read it in your profile at Moms network.)

    I stayed in the UP dorm. I’m sure you know that place too. Eh, may time na nabarkada ako sa mga dorm mates ko. Panay gimik at labas namin. One time, my parents sent my whole month allowance. The fool that I was, I spent half of it in one night! I couldn’t ask for additional money anymore from home so I had to scrimp on the remaining half for the rest of the month, like you – sometimes having only one meal a day. I learned my lesson well though. My grumbling stomach told me never to do the same mistake ever again. I broke away from the group and focused back on my studies. I couldn’t fail my parents.

  5. hazel says:

    we had 3 albums (ata) of menudo…they were my cousin’s favorite kaya favorite ko na din.

    i spent my college days in Baguio.

    i will do the tag this weekend. :)

  6. dimaks says:

    i did this tag today :)

  7. kathy says:

    Yes, Baguio girl ako noon. :)

    The Menudo fever in the 80s swept the entire archipelago in full force – do you remember their song “I’m going back to the Philippines?” :)

    Thanks for dropping by Leah!

  8. kathy says:

    It’s true. When I look back at all those hardships, I could only smile and be grateful at how things turned out wonderfully in the end. Thanks for sharing, Belle.

  9. kathy says:

    Wow, talaga? Sa ganitong meme rin ba nakalagay yung loooong post, Verns? Gusto ko basahin. :)

  10. kathy says:

    What a nice coincidence it is to find out so many people who have been in Baguio at one point or in their lives! Of course, I know UPCB – just a stone’s throw away from good ol’ CT High. :) I was there from 85-89 – any chance you were there during that time, too?

    Thanks for sharing your story. That was an admirable thing you did! I suppose that you also lived away from your parents during that time. It could be such an exhilarating experience, being outside the bounds of your house/parents and given free rein on how to spend your own money. But without discipline, it could be a recipe for disaster.

  11. kathy says:

    Wow, you too? Which university did you attend?
    Ok Hazel, I’ll check out your blog later! Thanks :)

  12. kathy says:

    From now on, I will call you “Speedimaks.” πŸ˜‰ Will check out your blog. Today.

  13. annamanila says:

    Those were cute and fun secrets 1 to 4. No. 5 was heartbreaking awwww. But getting hungry, being deprived …. hindi ba yan yung mga sparkplug to studying hard, being achivers. Well, lukityanow! Kaya minsan yung mga anak mayaman .. nothng to motivate them to strive anymore.

    Which reminds me of one or two canteen here in UP. Somehow, the hungry and allowance short can be identified … and are given double portions of rice, and lotsa sabaw and sauce. Heartwarming too, ‘no?

  14. lai says:

    hmm. the PUJ 123 experience is still fresh in my mind. hahah! let’s do that again! and pay the driver at the terminal. hihi.

  15. Prab says:

    Actually, I’m wondering who among us hasn’t done a 1-2-3 yet? It would just be so humiliating though if the driver caught you.

    “Hoy Nene, bayad mo!”


  16. kathy says:

    You’re absolutely right. Because we were poor, we had to exert extra effort to excel in our studies, just so that we can increase our chances of surviving…err, succeeding.

    Anna, which canteens offer those double servings? Wow, that is really nice. Sana merong ganyan sa Beachhouse – I was always short on rice there kasi ang sarap10x ng bbq nila. I wonder if it still open?

  17. kathy says:

    Ganon. Sure, haha, basta you pay. Ikaw lagi ka na lang libre. πŸ˜›

  18. kathy says:

    “Wala po ako barya!”

    Yung mga hindi talaga sumasakay sa dyip, sigurado hindi pa nakakagawa non. πŸ˜›

  19. dimaks says:

    lol, “speedimaks” sounds cool..

  20. verns says:

    nope..di ako na tag ng meme etong lolz

  21. bw says:

    #3 – you guys were naughty ! :) but I guess you can sweet talk the driver if he tries to be hard on you :)

    #5 Now THAT will never happen to you now. It’s an experience you will never forget which made you even stronger :)

  22. herb says:

    awwww… kawawa ka naman. my mom prepaed baon for me from elem to HS! sometimes my evil classmates would steal my baon and didn’t have anything to eat. (>__<) hahahaha

  23. Toe says:

    Robby Rosa was indeed a cutie! :) Wow… those hunger strikes… amazing story Kathy.

  24. kathy says:

    catchy eh? :)

  25. kathy says:

    Really?!! How come you were never tagged with this meme? If I had known, I would’ve tagged you hehe.

  26. kathy says:

    Desperate measures for desperate times, I guess. πŸ˜‰

    Indeed, every single event in our lives influences what we eventually become.

  27. kathy says:

    baka naman sobrang sarap yung baon mo kaya ka ninanakawan? evil classmates indeed!

  28. kathy says:

    There! At least somebody agreed with me on Robby Rosa. He’s the only reason why I watched “Salsa.” :)

    As Prab’s mom would say, everything happens for a reason. :)

  29. niceheart says:

    It was Ricky Martin for me. :) When he came back during the La Vida Loca fame, I fell in love with him again. :) I still have his poster at my workstation.

    Nakakalungkot naman ang number 5 mo. It reminded me of the hard times we also had. You know what, I also transferred schools in high school. My teachers and classmates thought that I would be valedictorian, and I have to admit, that I also hoped to graduate at the top of my class. But during the deliberation of honours, my lack of residency came up, and I was disqualified from getting any place in the honour roll. I cried a river, but in the end, I was alright with it. I had such a good experience at that school and I would never forget the friends I have made there.

  30. kathy says:

    Oh niceheart, you also caught the Menudo fever? I could imagine you falling in love with Ricky Martin – he’s hot! :)

    “Residency” – yup, this is the right term for it. Thanks for sharing your story! I really don’t understand myself why this should be a factor in deciding who’s going to be given the honors. If a student deserves it based on grades and extracurricular activities, why not? But in the long run, it really is just an award. I’ve known valedictorians who had blazed but burned out as quickly as they entered college. It’s the combination of skills, discipline, and perseverance that eventually spell the difference between success and failure, don’t you think?

  31. hazel says:

    done the tag! :) btw, i went to SLU and took up BSC Econ.

  32. kathy says:

    Yay! Thanks a lot Hazel! Batang SLU ka pala. After HS, many of my batchmates studied there.

  33. JustNoOne says:

    oh! after reading #5 I do feel a little bit hungry ^_^

    I experienced it too during my high school days. I study in BCNHS Batch 2000 weeeeee…

  34. kathy says:

    Haha, nong time ko wala pa “National” sa BCHS. :) You must be much younger than me.

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