#30DayWritingChallenge: One thing I never learned.

Day Fifteen: One thing I never learned.

I never learned how to swim.

I got it from my mom. She hardly goes out of the house and she’s afraid of deep water, so none of her kids grew up knowing how to swim.

Our dad was away on military assignments for most of our early childhood. If he had it his way, we would’ve been swimming for most of our childhood years because he grew up near the sea.

I’m tall-ish for a Filipino. Five-foot-eight. So when it comes to company or barkada excursions to the pool or beach, I’m not afraid of getting into the water as long as it’s not more than five feet deep. A little deeper than that and I start to get nervous. Close to six feet and I will wade away to shallower waters. I can’t even float.

Jade in an inflatable pool.

It’s kind of pathetic, actually.

One time, an ex-boyfriend asked me, “what if I was drowning?”

“I’d be sad,” I promptly answered. I think he never forgave me for that.

Lately, I thought about learning how to swim. But there’s always some excuse or another stopping me. I even bought swim trunks and a goggles to motivate me. But, alas, it has yet to happen.

So here is the fastest way to kill me: throw me unto the ocean. I’ll panic and I’ll drown. And then I’ll turn into a mermaid.

Hah. I wish.

#30DayWritingChallenge: The weirdest thing about my family.

Day Fourteen: The weirdest thing about my family.

I can probably count in one hand the number of times our family went to church. The last one was maybe three years ago, during my sister’s wedding.

My father could not care less about religion. He is as nominal as nominal a Catholic can be without calling himself atheist. I doubt he understands the term; but even if he did, he probably think it’s too much of a bother.

My mother has always felt guilty about not going to church. Every Sunday morning, she will turn on the TV for a televised mass. She hardly watches it, but the sound from the television is probably enough to keep her satisfied enough about her Catholic obligations.

TV mass is really targeted to those who are too old or too sick to go to a church. My mother is neither of these. She is just shy about dressing up and going out in public.

So it was the kids who had to make up for the religious lapses of the parents.

I went to a Catholic school in high school and was even active in some church organizations. It was mostly for show, in hindsight, although I believed it (mostly) at that time. Church work means attending a mass and going to org meetings, leading prayers, and learning Cathechism. The latter appealed to the geek in me.

I stopped going to church around college, and like someone who has not eaten bacon in three months and realized that it was possible to not miss bacon, I realize that I won’t be smote for being a bad Catholic. Besides, I masturbated every day. Surely, I should have been punished sooner than that?

My siblings all went to a public school and so they were not pressured to exercise religious fervor the way I did. My oldest sister, as far as I know, remained religious. This is inspite (or maybe because) of living in the Middle East for the last few years.

My middle sister joined me and my oldest sister in church when we were younger, but by the time the youngest siblings were old enough to go to church with us, we already stopped going to church.

Family portrait, Maia's wedding.

Looking back at what I wrote so far, this isn’t particularly weird for an average Filipino family. The weirdest thing about our family is probably the fact that it isn’t.

The weirdest thing about our family is that how I am in it.

#30DayWritingChallenge: My father.

Day Three: My father.

Three habits of my father which drives me nuts.

Washing suede shoes.
Fastidious cleanliness around the house.
Fondness for fish sinigang.

Three musicians my father enjoys which surprised me when I found out.

Yano.
Incubus.
Indigo Girls.

Three places my father visited which, in all likelihood, I might not step foot in during my lifetime.

The Spratlys.
Tawi-tawi.
East Timor.

Three of my father’s signature dishes.

Sauteed pork and tofu with soy sauce.
Kinilaw na dilis.
Laswa.

Three father-son bonding activities my father never taught me.

How to ride a bicycle.
How to play basketball.
How to drink beer.

Three character traits I share with my father.

Introversion.
Emotional dependence on friends.
Anger-driven physical violence.

Papa and Mama.