It was a summer of 2004, I was 13 years old, on my second year in high school – just turned adolescent. I knew nothing and unprepared when you came. You looked like a boy, so small and fragile with pale yellowish skin just like mine. There were thick skin on your scalp that has to be removed so they put you outside every morning when the sun rises. I thought you’re ugly and I’m sorry.
I was overjoyed yet overwhelmed. I didn’t like to babysit, wash your laundry, remove your poop, etc. I was the unica hija for 13 years and I got used to being the princess and being served. You were such a cry baby even now and that’s the reason they nicknamed you Kurag-it (scream). Your cry was like a scream that reaches the market. I’m not exaggerating. It’s true. You like to wander around town and I had to rent a Pedicab in the afternoon just to pacify your crying.
After High School
We got separated after I graduated and I had to move to Manila to study. I didn’t care that much because all I can think of is going away to escape the life in the province. Our dad doesn’t want to support me in college at first so I had to find a way to find scholarship and sponsor. Ipso facto, I’m grateful for all the people who didn’t turn their back on me.
I came back after a year because our financial situation had worsened and life in the formation house was difficult. I took a chance for another scholarship to complete my studies. I barely completed it, but God didn’t abandon me – he provided support in the means of our family. Grateful that we have a very supportive clan.
You were just six or seven years old when Mom decided to work abroad. I just graduated and I thought that was a good idea so we can settle our debts and finally get back on our finances. It has been almost 6 years and she hasn’t come back – we are still on the same level. Despite that, I was able to continue my studies, gain qualifications, pursue the things I like, and I was able to get you to live with me. It wasn’t that easy, but I made it.
We had rough years, but we survived and we continue to do so until now. You are still in your high school and probably won’t understand that life is tough. We had a different upbringing. I grew up being tough, independent, and strong, but I fear that you’re still a cry baby. You’re still growing and you are free to commit mistakes but dearest sister, I’d like to let you know my fair share of failures and disappointments while growing up and I hope you learn from them and may take a different path.
LIFE IS TOUGH SO YOU MUST BE TOUGHER
Adversities, failures, heartaches, and disappointments are part of living. Face them head on and learn from them. These challenges are set to make you stronger, appreciate life even more, depend on God, and value the people around you.
When life throw punches, don’t dodge it. Face it! But remember that it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to seek help, and it’s okay to say you need us. Your family will never abandon you no matter what.
- LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Due to our financial situation before, there are a lot of things I didn’t have and wish to do. I didn’t get the chance to fully enjoy my high school life, make a lot of friends, and participate in school activities. All I thought of is graduating and earning money.
While you’re still young, study hard, read a lot books, make a lot of friends, but be careful, be discerning and be cautious. Part of growing up is to accept the fact that some friends can hurt and betray you, but some will stay, love and support you.
Participate in any school activities; try different things in order to know what you truly love and what you want to become. It will also develop your confidence, social skills, and other talents you may discover. I didn’t get the chance to do all this when I was in high school so I’m still catching up.
- IT’S OKAY TO BE ORDINARY AND BE NOT POPULAR.
Your future won’t depend on how much popular you are at school.
Go out there and be authentic as you are. There will always be someone who’s smarter than you, prettier than you, and more talented than you. Always remember that you are unique and special too. You can be smarter, prettier, and more talented to others –you might not just know it.
I was a loner in High school and a total snob. It was hard for me when you came and our business is running. Mom got pregnant again. I suddenly have responsibilities; taking care of you, the store, doing laundry etc.
I wasn’t popular either, but they know me…just in a different way. A snob, annoying girl in high school. I’m not that pretty either. I did well in elementary, but I didn’t study much in high school. I’m way too ordinary except for the fact that during those times our family was active in politics and some made it to the top.
BE SIMPLE but be the best person that you can be. Always strive to become the best version of yourself.
- IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T HAVE A BF, MU, OR PUPPY LOVE
I had my first boyfriend when I was 18 years old and it was only for the sake of having a boyfriend and only lasted for a couple of weeks. Don’t rush things, enjoy being a teenager and learn a lot of things. It’s okay to have crushes. I had a few crushes before, but I’m more of a one guy girl.
Dearest sister, humans is sometimes cruel. You need to learn how to listen to your parents and elders because we only want the best for you. Our dad was very strict with me and now I’m thankful for that.
You first need to learn how to discern authenticity and sincerity. As a young teenager, accept the fact that your people judgement aren’t that wise enough and you have to seek guidance. We will give you enough room to grow and do what you like but will coach and remind you at times we deem necessary.
Happiness is one of the things money can’t buy. The world doesn’t owe us anything and problems are part of living so just smile, take a deep breath and always pray.
I still have a lot to say to you about relationships but I will wait for the right time when you can fully understand what I’m about to say.