This survey I received from my friend Vayie de Leon, whom I regard as the "Queen of Surveys," simply because she is a person who does not hesitate to reveal her true self to people she knows, or to the Internet world for that matter, by way of indulging in posting interesting (sometimes, intriguing) surveys. And I find this delightful not only because she gives others a glimpse of her Soul but also because it gives others the chance to bare theirs by responding to the same surveys.
Vayie and I have known each other for so looong—especially in the late 80s to early 90s, when she was still a high schooler at St. Mary's Academy while I an avid "fan" of Marya girls, I being a Sta. Clara alumnus who kept on coming back to the front school, which is "Marya," to "appreciate" the lovely blue-uniformed ladies (or were they still girls then? He-he). But surprisingly, we never became friends, suffice to say that we just simply knew each other by face and by name. In fact, she even knew me quite better because my sister Karen was once a classmate of hers at St. Mary's, and because she amazingly knows most of my past paramours. Wow! My lovelife, I never realized it was that interesting to others. Nonetheless, thanks to my band Half Life Half Death
, to which I'm forever indebted for allowing me to rise into confidence and develop a paradoxical charisma—one which I will describe as "either love me or hate me."
More than a decade past, Vayie and aLfie are no more than faces and names stuck webbed in the recesses of each other's mind. Then, recently, around June, we stumbled upon each other at the newwave101 chatroom; a few days' worth of responding to each other's musings and we already learned that we could have been good friends back then, simply because we share some interests, particularly New Wave music and the Pop culture of the 80s.
More so, only this time that I learned that Vayie is a younger cousin of my former high-school classmate Eduardo Dayacap, whom was also a best friend of mine but with whom I became estranged when I entered the intriguing and oft-misunderstood realm of alternative music—in short, Eduard and I drifted apart as friends and never got to talk with each other again. Well, thanks to Vayie, I was finally able to let Eduard know some of my thoughts about what happened to our friendship back then. And this removed at least one among the countless question marks that rattle my mind once in a while.
Again and again, I will say that it feels fulfilling and self-completing getting connected with friends with whom I lost contact for years, or with people whose sincere offers of friendship in the past I might have ignored and taken for granted for whatever reason. Vayie is among such people. But as I deeply believe:
"Once is better than never and part of forever is better than none, but regaining a friendship once lost or ignored is never too late."
So, Vayie, thanks for being a friend after all that has passed.
Now, back to the survey...
I easily fell in love with girls who were…
Ø affectionate, intellectual, and family-oriented. Yes, I'm sure I will never fall in love again for I already found my end in love—in someone who is worth treasuring for the rest of my life, a love which is the end of my search yet a love that is unending. Nonetheless, I treasure everything and everyone in my past, for without them the present I
would have not been the same.
I will give everything to…
Ø have a simple and comfortable life (just a little bit of luxury) with my future wife and children and the rest of my immediate family. What then am I doing about this? I continue to persevere despite my current inability to study yet and work in a job I truly want, for I believe that after I become eligible to do such things—that is, study and work—greater opportunities will come my way, and all I need to do is choose the better and share the fruits to my own family and other loved ones.
I’m presently so in love with…
Ø Charlotte Belialba, my future wife, whom I will marry when I finally return to visit my homeland; Cha, whose love and sincerity I already lost twice in the past—in 1996 and in 2000—Cha, whom I will never lose again...ever. How then do I nurture our love? I try to be with Cha on the Net as frequently as I possibly can, sending her regular e-mails and sharing with her everything that is happening with me here. I regularly call her on the phone (mostly, she makes the calls) so I may feel her soothing presence on the other end of the line and let her hear my reassuring voice. And most important, I send her postal mails regularly, to show how much I love her. Sending postal mails will always be more romantic and personal than sending e-mails, simply because with postal letters I get to send a physical part of me—that is, the letter itself—which I wrote with my pen using my right hand, the stationery I sprinkled with my perfume, and whose envelope I sealed with my wet tongue.
I hate it when people…
Ø I'd rather use the word dislike
, for as much as I could I don't want anger and hatred to linger in my heart "for anger leads to hate, and hatred leads to suffering." But wait, doesn't abhor
mean, "to regard with horror or loathing," which seems worse? Oh, well, whatever!
So, I abhor
it the most when people utter maliciously slanderous words about me and my loved ones. I abhor
people who nurture so much envy and jealousy in their hearts. I abhor
those who, instead of delighting in and feeling inspired with the achievements and successes of others, feel threatened and slighted by the good tidings that come to others. I dislike
it when people doubt my most serious expression of intent to realize my well-laid plans. I dislike
it when, oh well, cut the crap! I HATE
people who are arseholes and fuckfaced and leeches and plagiarists and "kupal"
and so much sexually preoccupied whose every joke revolves around sex and sex and sex and people who shove their beliefs on you until your ears bleed and your mind become numb, convincing you that their belief is the only "truth, way, and life."
This year, my biggest blow was…
Ø when I found out that a relative of mine has been telling lies about me, accusing me with some of the worst accusations one can throw at someone: a drug addict, gay, stealing money from my grandfather, and other heart-breaking words borne out of envy and jealousy. How did I react? I just cried secretly, for I was alone here, helpless and without someone who would defend me. I couldn't confront them simply because I am yet to live on my own. In effect, I'm still under their mercy, somehow. In a positive light, this eventuality continues to transform me into a more controlled and patient individual—no longer the hot-headed, easily agitated, and not-hesitant-to-retaliate aLfie whom I once was. Luckily, I no longer live in the same house.
How do I relate with such people? Inasmuch as I can, I avoid being with them, for I am not a hypocrite—I cannot stand conversing with people who have been stabbing me on my back. Do I seek revenge by way of doing the same to them? No. I don't believe in getting even. As a fellow member on the newwave101 yahoogroup, Tes de Leon, wrote in one posting: "an eye for an eye makes the world go blind; a tooth for a tooth makes us all bungal,
" a modified quotation from the well-renowned Indian inspirational leader Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
(1869–1948). Well said.
I will never regret…
Ø falling in love with someone who broke my heart and left it unmended for months, when she was impregnated by a male of her species. My reason? I was able to realize how loyal, faithful, and capable of loving I am—because I couldn't hate her for that grave act back then. In fact, I offered myself to her when she said the person's family didn't want her. Regardless, lessons...in love, lessons in life.
The most important people in my life…
Ø First, my family, which consists of my mother, father, sisters and their own families.
My mother, Teresita Vera-Mella
, I have long regarded as a very strong yet vulnerable woman. Since the early 80s, when she and my father finally separated chiefly because of the latter's restlessness in the matters of falling for various women, my mother was left on her own devices in raising us, her children. And, I'm proud to say that she succeeded, for none of us has ever gotten into serious troubles. All of us grew up to be family-oriented, loving, affectionate, generous, and, above all, broad-minded.
My mother has always been there for us—budgeting a meager amount of money for our school allowances, laundering our clothes, cooking our food, attending our school functions, waiting late on nights my siblings and I were out on gimmicks, laughing with us every time one has a joke—funny or corny it might be, and crying every time one of us has problems too difficult to handle.
The last time I was with my mother was on August 14, 2003, my day of departure to Canada. No tears fell from either our eyes, but I knew deep inside that both wanted to weep. Her assuring voice on the phone keeps on giving me hope and strength—hope for my dreams and strength to persevere.
On November 20, my mother will turn 57, all I wish for her at this stage are better health and peace of mind.
My first sister, Lovelle
: I'm proud to have witnessed you transform gracefully from a restless and ill-tempered party-girl to a loving and responsible mother to your two sons, Aki and Kali. Your silence is unassuming to some, for they do not know that behind your serious façade is a deep thinker and analytical observer. I delight in the fact that we share the same passion for books and films.
, one of my bandmates and best friends who became my sister Lovelle's husband, I thank you very much for always regarding all of us as a part of your own family even before you and Lovelle have finally decided to be together for the rest of your lives. You have not only been a great and supportive friend but have also been a brother. May you keep on taking care of my family there in our country. In case I haven't told you yet, I've always admired you for your mild manner, creativity, and sense of humor. You know how to make people laugh, and you know when to keep quiet and just listen.
, my spirited second sister, who is yet to bid farewell to her youthful lifestyle, please take care of your son, my nephew Algae. Now is the time when Algae needs your guidance and attention. I shall celebrate the day you will finally weave yourself in a chrysalis and emerge as a fully matured lepidopteran. With your wit and humor, you have more than what you think you possess.
, my sister Karen's husband. Away from my family, I can now well empathize with how you feel being far away from your wife and son. May you have greater patience and perseverence, especially that my sister and your son are both strongwilled—perhaps, "like mother, like son."
, my middle sister, the most beautiful, my favorite, I don't worry about you much in the sense that I very well know how responsible and independent you are since childhood. I can feel how hardworking and strong you are and how much you love your children, my niece Arianne and nephew Akev. You may have failed in love the first time, so I wish for the success of the next—may it be the last one as well. Thank you for always regarding highly of me and for lovingly appreciating and delighting in my achievements. I will always be the "greatest brother" you believe I am. I will never disappoint all of you.
, my youngest sister, in you I always see my younger self—gregarious yet reserved, adventurous yet controlled, fashionable and unusual, and, most of all, broad-minded and a lover of knowledge and reason. I would like you to know how proud I am for what you have become. I feel happy for you for having finally finished College and for finding a job which you enjoy and which pays well. Always remember the pains and woes Mommy had to go through just to let you finish your studies. Return the favors by regarding her well and by avoiding being a pain on her neck like you always did when you were younger.
, my nephew whom many people regard as my former childhood self, simply because he exhibits many traits which I possessed back when I was his age—inquisitive; stubborn; a lover of details, trivia, fantasy stories, and lore. You always amazed me with your talent in drawing and with your mild manner. You are not like many children your age who, so young as they are, already exhibit scary tendencies to harbor prejudice, discrimination, and hostility. My fondest memory with you was the time we travelled from San Pedro to Cartimar in Pasay City to buy turtle and rabbits. I know you will soon grow up, but heed my wish—remain as youthful-minded as you possibly can. And always take care of Mama, who takes care of you most of the times.
, I always regard both of you as children with the minds of grownups, because you always amused and amazed me with your witty questions and matured manner of speaking. Thank you for always remembering the stories I used to tell you when I was still among you. I was always excited to go home to San Pedro every time I knew you were spending your weekend there with us. To Kevin: you always make me smile every time you would quip: "Di ako takot sa multo, sabi ni Tito aLfie, hindi tutuo yun...."
Arianne, I'm happy to learn that you are growing up to be a fine and graceful girl, no longer the mataray
Arianne I know when I was there.
, you were barely two-and-a-half when I left, but your intelligence at such an early age has always impressed me. May your love for books never leave you. You will soon find out that books are, indeed, one of the things that make a person broad-minded. May you still recognize me when I finally return home. Hearing you talk clearly over the phone surprised me, for all you were able to utter then, as I remember, was simple "Tito, Tito..."
Take care of your newborn brother. I don't worry much anyway, for I'm sure you'll grow up a loving brother to your sibling--the way your mother and your father are to theirs.
, you will probably be about three years old when I return. I don't worry, for I'm certain you won't feel uncomfortable with me; the love in our family will be natural in you.
, although I seldom hear from and about you, I'm sure you're always safe and coping. I know how strong and resilient you are, for you have already survived many instances of sure death, the worst of which was the time you were stabbed by hold-uppers. Ironic this may seem, but it was the time I finally forgave you for the things you've done to your family in the past. I will always remember the scene at the hospital in which you were sitting fragilely on your hospital bed, recuperating from your mortal wounds, asking for my forgiveness for the things you have done. Daddy, I have long forgiven you. And I appreciate your efforts in compensating for the lost time and affection; I delight in every little thing you did to show that you love us after all. I will never forget my College-graduation ball when you served as our taxi driver. Most of all, I will never forget the fairy tales and mythology stories you used to tell me when I was very young. To this day, I regard them as the catalyst to my being a poet and a storyteller. Daddy, wherever you might be now, you are thinking of me I know.
And lastly, Charlotte
, my future wife, you have eluded my love twice in the past (or is it the other way around? I think it doesn't matter anymore), so finding each other again after all these years I regard as a blessing and a gift. Always trust in my nobility. I know myself well. I will certainly shed tears on the day we will finally meet again—tears of joy...tears of love.
To my friends
, your simple words of encouragement and your belief in my indomitability I will always regard as your gifts of hope for Charlotte and me. I can never be where I am and will never be who I have become if not for your gift of friendship—the second-greatest gift of all.
Nothing scares me more than…
Ø the death of someone very close to me.
My freakiest dream is…
Ø When I was still a child, I feared sleeping in the afternoon because I always had what I would call "noon nightmares," which I can now only describe as dreams about things scary and geometrical, tiny objects becoming gigantic and then back again, bubbles and rings encircling me until I felt I was being strangled, bouncing, dizzying, my head enlarging...until I would awake feeling dizzy and nauseous.
It hurts when…
Ø someone you trust betrays you for no apparent reason. It hurts when you lose a well-loved job, like what happened to me in the past, at Quorum-Lanier (Phils.) Inc., when I was included on the list of employees for retrenchment. It hurts when somebody you love or close to you dies unexpectedly, like the death of my niece Aeshen who barely passed the age of two because of a brain tumor and the recent demise of my friend Jas Latina who was hit by a speeding truck.
I will give everything to have a one wild night spent with a famous person like…
Ø Okay, for the sake of not leaving any question unanswered...Paris Hilton or Heart Evangelista or both on the same night.
The most annoying person on Earth is…
Ø Back when I was in the Philippines, a former boss named Mr. William "Bill the Bull" S. Fernando. Now that I am here in Canada, allow me simply to say, "a hypocritical relative whose heart is full of envy and bitterness and whose mouth can spit the most venomous character shatterer."
The time I really felt loved is…
Ø I have always felt loved by my parents and my sisters and their children. And now, I feel so much loved and wanted by Charlotte.
My mother and I would often fight on…
Ø nothing much, just petty arguments about my loud music, stacks of paper and other literary documents which she used to refer as "your garbage," and my tendency to bum around the house when I was much younger. But the most serious argument we had was the time she reprimanded me for getting involved with a married female friend.
I would let go of a love that is…
Ø I would let go of a person who simply cannot love me anymore.
I get sick with the thought of…
Ø a housefly couple having a day of their very short lifespan on human feces stuck on my salivating tongue.
My best friend in the whole world is my…
Ø On a list of three, considering the quality time we spent together and the mutual trust, belief, and respect we had for each other (in this order): Rain Paggao, Ramil Aznar, Carol Pobre.
I will give up everything for the person I love…
Ø I will not give up everything, but instead I will work hard to be able to give everything to the person I love, the lady who will soon become my wife.
The one thing that I will never ever understand is…
Ø There is hope in learning almost anything if we indulge in it seriously, but I feel I will need painful efforts in understanding about 'stock markets.'
I love food, but I am not fond of…
Ø any bitter-gourd dish.
When I love a person, I…
Ø declare it to the whole world regardless if the world will laugh at me and say: "Tell it to the marine fishes!"
I admire my dad because…
Ø he was able to regain the love and respect of his children by compensating with little but lovely things the grave deeds he did to his family in the past.
Why should there be…
Ø sadness and pain? Because sadness is the default human emotional state, and because humans are naturally masochistic.
The best thing about me is that…
Ø I can express my individuality without fear of being judged.
I will do everything for love except…
for it, for this defy the very essence of loving
—which is, keeping yourself alive and well for your love.
The common thing about my exes is that they are all…
Ø Hmmm, let me just say that many of them were fair-skinned and longhaired.
I would love to have the power of…
Ø the Force.
All I want to receive as a gift on my birthday is…
Ø birthday cards and letters sent through the post office.
Ø what you make of it; its ultimate purpose is to give us the chance to give meaning to each of our own lives. And, life is a continuous struggle of human nature
I would go anywhere with the person I love but in…
Ø the heart of Mt. Vesuvius.
If I’ll be born again, I would want to be…
Ø a human being; it's taxing being an eLf.
If there’s one part of my body that I would want to change, that will be my…
Ø body build—enough muscles will make me confident in wearing trunks on beaches.
The most tearjerker film I watched is…
Ø Cast Away
One thing I hate about life is…
Ø its unfairness.
Nothing saddens me more than…
Ø witnessing someone close to me suffering the unfairness of life despite that person's hard work, perseverance, and honesty.
I can give you a kiss when…
Ø the kind of kiss I will give will depend on the person I will kiss.
If I die, I want it to be a…
Ø peaceful natural death, because of old age.
The noblest thing I did in my life is…
Ø I left my fairly comfortable life in the Philippines to go to Canada to serve as Charon to my maternal grandfather; with, in fairness, the foresight of finding a chance for a better life for my family.
If I’m naughty enough…
Ø I have been very naughty (and experimental and adventurous) in my younger years. Am I correct to assume that the "naughtiness" in this context concerns something sexual?
I was last hospitalized due to…
Ø a nerve cyst in my right elbow that was eventually incised.
The one thing I cannot understand with the human nature is…
Ø I think I understand human nature well—that humans are naturally sad, selfish, stupid, and evil; though this doesn't mean I will dwell in such state helplessly. To be able to rise from such nature is a constant challenge for me—and this is the true essence of humanity. Thus, Life is a continuous struggle of remaining stagnant with your human nature versus the conscious attempt to rise and achieve humanity.
My basic principle in life is…
Ø Be as good and understanding as I possibly can. Always try to maintain the balance between the yin
and the yang
of Life. Too much independence breeds indifference, too much invulnerability leads to destruction, and the list goes on and on...
Nobody knows it, but I get extremely jealous when…
Ø Nobody knows it.
All I wanted at this very moment is…
Ø to fly back home—if only I have butterfly wings—and spent the night with Charlotte.
The 6 most significant ladies in my life are…
Ø My mother, Charlotte, and my sisters.
I get upset when…
Ø I encounter unnecessary problems unexpectedly and I cannot do much about it.
My biggest question as of the moment is…
Ø “Why do I have to sacrifice much when all I want is a comfortable life with my family?”
I would be willing to work hard for a living, but I’d rather die than work as…
Ø an executioner. Ha-ha-ha. Let's see how would this go if I reverse the concept: I would be willing to work hard for a dying, but I'd rather live than work as a child deliverer. He-he-he.
I only thought of suicide…
Ø but never really attempted to commit it.
Aside from my family, the one person who loves me unconditionally is…
If I’d be reincarnated as an animal, I would want to be a…
Ø I don't
believe in reincarnation, so the appropriate question for me would be: "If I believe
in reincarnation, what would I want to be in my next life?" My answer: someone who believes in reincarnation. Ha-ha-ha.
My most traumatic childhood memory is…
Ø the time, in 1978, when I fell from a fence and onto a barbecue grill or something, which caused the large centipede-looking keloid on the skin just below my right knee.
I would never date…
Ø anyone anymore, I'm faithful and finally contented romantically.
In 3 years, I would have a…
Ø sweet, intelligent, and loving wife.
If I could date a famous athlete, it would definitely be…
Ø I'm not a fan of sports, sorry. Let me just change the question: "If I could date a famous musician, it would definitely be...Susan Dallion (a.k.a Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & the Banshees and The Creatures)."
If there’s one question always asked but which I cannot answer, it’s…
Ø “Why are your ears not pointy?”
I could be [completely] happy only when…
Ø it's time for me to return to Shire.
I would like to have the body of…
Ø an eLf.
If one could see right through me, they would realize that I’m…
Ø really an eLf trapped inside the body of a human.
After this, I have to…
Ø sleep already. Gully dwarf! I spent about 6 hours answering this survey.
Vayie, did I pass your "eLf challenge"?