December 31, 2008

I-Witness, "the Underdogs"


In this photo, i was sitting next to a Michigan Senator during one of the conference where i served chairperson during the Michigan Youth Leadership Forum while discussing disability acts at Michigan's capitol Lansing. (I was the only foreign national present)

Last Monday, I watched GMA-7's I-witness episode hosted by no other than Mr. Howie Severino. As always, staying up so late for the show was worth it. The documentary was about the "Underdogs", people who are considered to be of less capability compared to the greater majority who despite of their different conditions continues to strive and fight their way through everyday challenges. The show featured 3 stories--excluding that of Mr. Severino's personal experience of experiencing a temporary disability but personally, and perhaps this is to be expected I got interested with Mr. Berry Perry's story more than that of the others for I share the condition that he and some members of his family have.

One of my most liked picture where you can see me standing next to a 7ft. guy.

Little People—that is according to the Little People of America (the national organization for people with short stature in America) and American Disabilities Act is what’s considered a politically correct term for individuals such as myself, and Mr. Perry. I was fortunate enough to get myself exposed to the organization because my host Mother in the states—Marge Carlisle was once the National Chairperson. She too, of course along with my host Dad and my other host brother was of short stature. Though, I was originally sent to the U.S to be a young Ambassador of Peace with AFS-YES Program—an experience that gave me a new perspective, I also underwent through a personal transformation because all my life I only knew of the life of the ‘average size’—being the only person in my family and community to have this condition. Just like what was pointed out on the show, Mr. Perry was an underdog because there isn’t much people like us and consequently we fall into many kind of stereotypes like people like us can only do so much and unfortunately for society, they only see us as a means of entertainment. We were always portrayed to be as individuals you can just laugh at so I guess that is why some of us, perhaps with the lack of a better choice ends up in the showbiz industry. Having been raised in an average-size family, I’ve never really felt different because I’ve always been known to exceed expectations, known to always do better than most people who are often older than me but then when I was introduced to the world of people with disabilities where I found my achievements aren’t unusual. There was always the unconscious side of me that felt the need to prove myself and that I can do what everyone else can. It is what I found as something common among us. My condition was not talked about in the family, it was like a secret that everybody knew and maybe because of that I learned not to categorize myself as such but since I got involved with the world of physically challenged individuals then I decided for myself that I don’t have to be just different, I am the going to be the difference.

"It was like a secret that everybody knew"

Here you see me with my fellow AFS-YES scholars during the first of the many courtesy calls we did at the U.S Embassy, (in the picture was the former U.S Ambassador to the Philippiens Ricciardone)

I remember how it all started; I was about 16 years old when out of nowhere, a group of people knocked at my door and introduced themselves as I-witness crew. They, said they wanted to feature me so I can inspire, other people. I didn’t know if they knew that I was a big fan but that was all they had to say to get my approval. However, I also remember that before I said yes, I asked why me? They said because we’ve learned that you’re someone who never lost hope, we are amazed by your story. Despite of your condition, and what happened to you so far… (I believed they referred to my house being burned down when I was in first year, and the year after my mom died of heart attack) you always pushed through and still win many competitions. I think it was about 2 days after when they returned with a van full of equipments and then the actual shoots and interview started, I automatically suspected that it wasn’t “I-witness” because I knew the reporters themselves do their own stories but I just went with it. After, the shoot and all interviews completed I was brought to Lyceum of the Philippines University, along with my family where my suspicions were confirmed. At the façade of the school, I saw a familiar face, It was Vicky Morales and the I-witness thing was just a cover, they were actually shooting for Wish Ko Lang. Yes, I was granted a 4 year scholarship with Lyceum of the Philippines with any course of my choosing, a complete computer set, a “pangkabuhayan showcase” and perhaps the most memorable of all—a dedication party back at my school Ignacio Villamor High School in Manila. I was welcomed with a band, huge tarpaulins all over the school with my name on it and the words “Congratulation’s Marlon, We are proud of you”. I’ve never seen anything as grand—even at Wish Ko Lang standards. Later that I realized, it was my teacher-trainer in the many competitions I’ve participated was the one who wrote for me to the show. After all, she knew more than anybody else did. More than the party, the scholarship, and the T.V exposure, what touched me the most was the fact that I, was able to inspire a lot of people, that even today, years after I’m still tapped in the back by strangers saying that they saw me on T.V and was moved by the story. I never looked at myself in that light before but since then, I’ve been able to do so much more.

That's me with 2 German exchange students like myself during our visit to Michigan's 5th district (district where i was hosted) Congressman Dale Kildee in his office in Washington D.C.

Just after a year, I was chosen among 40 of the most promising young high school students who came from various parts of the country ranging from as far North as Sagada and as far south as Tawi-Tawi. We comprised the first-ever batch of the AFS-YES Program, a partnership between the world’s largest volunteer based exchange program founded over 90 years ago (AFS) and the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs which spearhead the Youth Exchange Study (YES) program founded just after the tragic events of 911 in the U.S, it is a program that believes that we can prevent such attacks by reaching to the grassroots level and promoting understanding between Americans and countries with significant Muslim population including the Philippines. During my year, I carried the flag of the nation during various talks to promote our culture maybe beyond what the internet and the media can share. A true Filipino, a 17 yr old who talks about what it’s like to be a Filipino. In return, I got the chance to live the American way of life because I have stayed with an American Family for a year, eating their food, speaking the language—dreaming in English, watching football as vigorously as they did, celebrating Thanksgiving and a Christmas with Snow falling in my head.

thanksgiving with the Carlisle's 2004 (American Family that hosted me)

During the same year, I was immersed to the world of Little People, and the life of people with disabilities in general where everything in the house was made to adapt to our needs, the counter specifically made to be lower than in most homes, the car to have an extended pedal so that we can drive, Buses with lifts so that wheelchair users can ride them with ease, buildings including private and public establishments made in a way so that people with disabilities can move as independently as possible. Equal employment opportunity, respect and acceptance in society. These among other things are what I would like to see in the Philippines someday so that there would be no more underdogs. I am a realist, I know the Philippines has a lot more problems to address but that doesn’t mean that we should be put among the list of last priorities. We can help if only we get the help that we need. I guess asking for what you deserve isn’t too much to ask for.
A recent picture taken just this year during a visit to U.S Amb. Kenney's official residence.

A lot more happened during my stay in the States, in a way that experience defines me. That is why I always talked about it whenever I get the chance because I feel the need to spread the word of how being placed in a land of strangers can actually make you recognize who you really are. It’s been 4 years since I was back, I remember I was so optimistic back then that I thought that nothing could stop me, that I am bound to be the agent of change the country needs, I’d thought I would do everything that I can but then I had to face some personal issues, things much more minute compared to the problems of the world I wanted to help solve but they got to me. The future 2nd Filipino U.N secretary general had to stop going to school, I was only able to finish a year of college so far, I had to stop and start working and the agent of change had to become, for now at least, a call center agent. Fortunately, my resume preceded me so it wasn’t hard for me to get a job, but I always get that look in the interviewers face whenever they found out that person who owns that 3 page resume was me. I didn’t have a job experience before so I figured I should put everything I think would be a relevant skill that I have. I stayed in the industry for about a year and 7 months, including 4 months with a different company. Everything went well as far as work is concern, I got promoted just after regularization in my first company and I made a name for myself and soon after, decided to transfer for further career advancement but shortly after I joined the 2nd company, I had to stop working once again because of some unforeseen family issue. Also, I guess I got tired emotionally, I originally planned on working for only 2 years then after I save enough I could start my own business then I could go back to school to purse what I really wanted but then I guess not everything goes as planned. Things somehow managed to get worse so I moved out of my father’s house, I now stay with my sister and for the last 3 months, I’ve been a “tambay” but I think I needed this rest. This January, I would be turning 22. I am finally an adult by all standards and I guess I am in the point in my life when I am just re-assessing things. I’ve been virtually unstoppable for as long as I can remember so I guess it wouldn’t hurt if I take this much needed rest. I am soul-searching I guess, I was going too fast that I almost forgot what my purpose was but then, because of Monday night after seeing Mr. Perry, after hearing his and his little girl’s story, I was reminded of my purpose. I have never considered myself an underdog because all my life I’ve always been on top—well, as much as I would like to think but then maybe I am an underdog. Looking back I see that I was able to achieve everything I’ve done so far because I always carried the need to prove myself. Not so much to grab attention, like I always say--I get that enough already but to get respect not only for myself but for everyone like me, like Mr. Perry. I know he did the same during his time but now I feel it’s my time to do what I can. I have been given so much opportunity and been taught so much by everybody to just let it go to waste. The story I saw Monday night of Mr. Perry wasn’t just his, it’s for everyone he represents including me and now I feel obliged to continue the story and hopefully I can give it the ending it deserves.

I am an underdog at tulad nila...hindi ako magpapatalo.

just a picture at work.

(after posting this post's url to Howie Severino's blog, i got this response from him)

Marlon, what an inspiring life story. If our docu made you recall and share it, it was worth all the effort. Mabuhay ka!

December 28, 2008

Dr. Pepe in Perspektib


"Buong Buhay ko, wala kayaong ginawa kundi husgahan ako, basahin ako, kung anu-ano ang hiningi niyo pero hindi ninyo pa rin makita kung sino ako. " - from the Movie Rizal

I am a Filipino--that is if i would be too technical and be that simple because according to the 1987 Constitution every person born within the Philippine Territory is by birth a Filipino. Yes, it’s now that easy for anyone to be called a Filipino and perhaps on that aspect Dr. Jose Rizal among all the heroes who fought for our freedom was successful. However, more than just having the title itself is not enough; one has to prove he deserves to be called a Filipino. Jose Rizal didn’t just become our National Hero because he wrote Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo and not even because of its influence that sparked the revolution. He is the National Hero because he loved the country the most at the time when nobody was even allowed to think that a country—the Philippines even existed.

Jose Rizal was a genius, at the age of 3 he already mastered the alphabet and during his lifetime he learned about 22 different languages. He was an architect, artists, businessman, cartoonist, educator, economist, ethnologist, scientific farmer, historian, inventor, journalist, linguist, musician, mythologist, nationalist, naturalist, novelist, ophthalmic surgeon, poet, propagandist, psychologist, scientist, sculptor, sociologist, and theologian. Rizal who was popularly known as Doctor was actually a cure himself. He knew the existing problems and he sought for a cure by fighting with his pen hoping to be heard and sure enough he made such a noise that even the mighty Spanish Empire was not able to suppress leading to what is known as the Revolution of 1896. Though Rizal himself never intended to be the cause of the bloody revolution, his words was enough to inspire actions that later lead to change and the awakening of the sleeping nation.

It was already 122 years ago when Rizal was shot dead in Luneta, it’s no wonder why one would even bother to pause for a moment and think that on that fateful day—122 years ago Pepe was executed for thinking that his country and its people deserved better. In many respect, the Philippines during the Spanish Era is different than what it is now that is why it is debatable to think that the lessons he left is no longer applicable but in a sense we are in no better condition than they were. In fact, we may be in a much more terrible fate because now, we are the ones who are inflicting all sorts of struggles to our own people. We are still prey to the government that is supposed to be the government for the people. We are still ‘Indios’ in some respect because we choose not be involved and instead of taking action to be able to call ourselves Filipino’s proudly, we choose to do what’s easy and that is to deny being a Filipino.

In a third world country like ours, it’s hard to blame someone leaving the land we once fought and died for. Like what Patricia Evangelista once said, sometimes leaving is not a matter of choice. We are Indios because we even glorify the fact that families have to be separated just to find better opportunities. We proudly call those who had to leave “Bagong Bayani”. We are not aware that in doing so, we lie to ourselves and that we easily believe in the government’s propaganda to hide the true situation of the country, that parents, sisters, and brothers had to leave to provide for their family. Indeed, their contribution to the economy is undeniable and one thing we should be thankful for but in reality that is merely an extra benefit. I don’t think any OFW left the country so that they can contribute to the economy—they did , so that they can support their family who would otherwise suffer if they stayed home. They say that if there is one thing good about being under Spain for over 300 years, then it would be the fact that they brought Catholicism to the country. We’ve always been taught to fear God by the friars which in effect made us very dependent on His grace. Having faith in God is not a bad thing, but not doing anything because you trust God so much to just wait for His grace is bad. One bad thing about us is that we just accept everything that happens to us and take them in ‘because it is God’s will’—the very mindset the friars wanted us to have so that we don’t take action and think for ourselves. Rizal was considered “anti-Christ” for his liberal thoughts of taking action, doing something to make things better which he believed was what God wanted for us. To have a choice. To practice free will.

These among other things, are just symptoms of what I believe to be a disease that not even Dr. Pepe’s death could not cure. We are now free. We are now able to practice free will. We can now think for ourselves and more importantly we can now be heard. We live in a world only Dr. Rizal could dream of, we live in a world he died for but ironically enough, now that we have a voice we still choose not to speak. Now that we can do something, we still choose to do nothing. We don’t have to be a genius nor that we have to die to be called a hero. Just love the country enough and do something. Anything would help.

Sandwiched between two of the most awaited feast in the country, Christmas and the New Year, Rizal day often only receives a fraction of the attention it deserves. Perhaps, unlike New Year and Christmas that signifies a life and a fresh new start, nobody really wants to celebrate the death of some guy who is called a “National Hero” for writing some novels you can barely understand. A guy every college student hates because his boring life is forcibly taught in schools as enacted by the infamous Rizal Law. However, for me I don’t see Rizal’s Death as an end but instead I see it as a beginning. Lucky for me, I was molded to be a geek and so unlike many, the subject Rizal is more than just a break between Calculus and Science. I learned of a man who earned for himself the title “Philippine National Hero and for everyone else—the right to be called a Filipino”

December 26, 2008

Ang Pasko sa mata ng Isang Hindi na Masyadong Bata


"Ang mga inaanak pala ay hindi lang taga ubos ng pera mo"

Pasko ngayon, December 25. 2008, alas-tres bente ng hapon pero ako eto, nasa harap lang ng computer at gumagawa ng blog post.

Ganun ba talaga kahirap mag-celebrate ng pasko kapag 22 years old ka, walang syota, hindi ka nagtatrabaho sa callcenter at malayo ka sa barkada? Bakit hindi na ako masaya ngayong kapag narinig ko ang salitang "namamasko po!?". At since kelan pa mas dumami iyong nagmamano sa akin kesa doon sa mga pinagmamanuhan ko dati? Kagabe lang, bisperas ng pasko eh nakinig ako ng radio online habang gumagawa ako ng modifications sa blog na ito sabay biglang umihip ang malakas na simoy ng hangin kasabay ng kantang "Silent Night". Pinatatamaan ba ako dahil ganun katahimik ang gabi ko?

I should say, epektib naman siya kasi biglang nag-flashback iyong memories nung mga nakaraang pasko ko. Noong bata ako naalala ko noon bisperas ng gabi pa lang super-hyper na iyong mood sa bahay. Andami kasi namin magpipinsan noon na kala mo isang batalyong sundalo naghahanda sa gyera kinabukasan. Sa dami namin kung sumugod, hindi ko masisisi iyong mga ninong at ninong namin na magtago dahil lahat kami eh kelangan nila bigyan. Naalala ko kahit anong oras na kaming natutulog matapos magkainan at magkulitan eh parang nauunahan pa rin namin iyong manok sa pagising ng maaga. Syempre, excited kami mamasko, ang motto namin noon "Gifts are accepted but Cash is greatly appreciated". Lahat kaming mga bata biglang nagkaroon ng wallet at pagkatapos magligo at kunting pulbo sa likod--off we go.

Bata pa ako noon, observer na talaga ako. Marami akong napapansin sa tradisyon nating mga pinoy ng pamamasko o paghingi ng 'Aguinaldo". Sa sarili kong karanasan napapaisip ako minsan bakit parang napaka-random ng selection ng mga Ninong at Ninang ko at talagang sa pasko ko lang sila nakikita? Hindi ba dapat iyong mga pinipili ninong at ninang ng mga magulang mo eh iyong mga "close friends" nila pero bakit once a year lang sila kung magkita at sa tuwing pagbisita namin sa bahay nila eh paulit-ulit lang iyong pinagkukuwentuah nila? Nilagay lang ba sila doon para magtrabaho ng isang buong taon para magbigay ng regalo sa akin tuwing pasko?

Nakatutuwang isipin na ngayong kabilang na ako sa populasyon ng mga hindi na masyadong bata ay sa palagay ko, alam ko na ang mga sagot doon. Sabi nila ang pasko daw panahon ng bigayan pero dati ang alam ko lang eh sila lang iyong bigay ng bigay sa aming mga bata. Naisip ko na noon ayoko magkaroon ng inaanak kasi puro gastos lang sila no matter how you look at it.

Mali pala ako.

The moment i became too old para mamasko ay ang simula naman ng pagkakaroon ko nga mga inaanak. It's a cycle that's passed on to the next generation, At first, its a puzzle for me as to why one would even want to agree being isang ninong or ninang. Just now, i knew the answer. Naalala ko noong bata ako tuwing pupunta ako sa bahay ng mga ninong at ninang namin, ang palaging naitatanong sa akin eh, kamusta na iyong mama mo? or papa mo? Ang mga inaanak pala ay hindi lang taga ubos ng pera mo. Para pala silang time machine that brings back the old days, sila ay iyong mga reminder na once in your life you knew a particular person very well that you considered him/her na maging ninong or ninang. Siguro subconsciously, we are choosing those people who we would want to hear about years after. You are unknowingly choosing those people you don't want to lose touch with. Gusto mo my bond pa rin kayo kahit gaano katagal iyong lumipas. Kung iisipin nga naman, noong mga panahon siguro ng mga magulang natin dahil sa kawalan pa ng cellphones, internet at friendster, hindi naiiwasang mapalayo sa mga kaibigan mo hanggang sa mawalan na kayo ng communication. Unlike today, log in ka lang updated ka na kahit sa patingin-tingin lang ng pictures at pagbasa ng shout-out gets mo na iyong mood niya. Sa halagang 30 pesos or less makakapag-load ka na agad at makakabalita ka na sa kanila.

I like technology too, i enjoy the convenience of being able to do a lot more than the previous generations but in a way the old days are better. The meaning of the the word "kamusta na"? means a lot more back in the day after not hearing from someone for so long, the excitement is genuine and you'd really enjoy the time spent with old friends. Ngayon kasi, we talk to everyone almost everyday that "kamusta na" is now synonymous to Hello! or Hi!. Ngayon, may mga ilan na ang main consideration ng pagpili ng ninong at ninang eh kung sino iyong may magandang trabaho at mukhang malaki magbigay sa pasko. Nakakawala tuloy lalo ng gana ang pasko.

Ikaw? Sino Ka?


" I remember back then I always wanted to be the difference but I guess it wouldn’t hurt if sometimes I would just like be everybody else. "

These past few days are among the last ones’ left for the year 2008 but also I hope that these days are also going to be the last few days of what have been a very long period of my so-called “soul-searching”

Just yesterday I’ve made one pleasant mistake, I’m still intrigued as to how it happened but somehow the text message I was sending a friend ended up with a complete stranger. I couldn’t figure out how because her number is not even in my phonebook. On top of that, her number didn’t even have any significant similarity with that of my friend’s. It was completely random and I couldn’t have possibly pushed that much number by mistake. (Kung iisipin ko pa ngayon kung paano nangyari iyon eh para akong isang batang two year old na nagtatangka bumuo ng rubrix cube.) I couldn’t possibly solve it.

Well, just like what I said. It was actually a pleasant mistake—one that I’m not sorry about because I’ve just earned a very interesting friend.

My phone started ringing and I didn’t even care to look at the screen to know who it was. Then, after a word—just a word, everything went into a sudden halt. It was a voice I’ve never heard before. She sounded like an angel—a slightly angered one that is. I couldn’t blame her because I gave her a rather rude response. IKAW? Sino ka? I didn’t even know I sent her the message incorrectly so I assumed she was just like the typical patay-malisya-sobrang-trying-hard-maghanap-ng-textmate/callmate na umi-istyle lang but it turned out that I was wrong. Unlike many those before her, she sounded extremely well over the phone. It’s either she’s a rich gal or a highly educated one because she communicates very well. Yes! With a conversation that lasted less than 30 seconds I was able to profile her. ( I was a Quality Assurance Analyst in one of the biggest call center company in the Philippines so it has become almost an instinct for me to profile people with very little information on a short span of time.) Right after I put the phone down, I quickly sent her a message of apology and the rest, as they say is history.

Somehow I convinced her to talk to me more, at first mostly because I was still intrigued about how absurd it was that the message ended up with her. It may just have been a network glitch or something because common sense just wouldn’t give me an answer. Soon enough, intrigued changed to interested. I no longer cared about the bizarre text message but instead I became more interested about her. Once again, my “profiling skills” came in handy and I was right on the mark and if I was ever wrong about her, it would have been the fact that I may have underestimated her a bit. She was funny, well-versed, nice, polite, and by some mysterious magical means, she makes me smile. Honestly, she’s just my type. I’ve always been attracted to girls whom I can share a very good conversation with, someone who communicates well and by that I mean—above average command of the English Language, a bit of german-frenchie type of accent then she would be perfect. I dunno but I dig it. I just like it that way. I know I may sound like I’m a call center interviewer but I really think the reason behind it is that I basically wanted someone at “My” level. Trust me as well when I say that majority of call center agents are not even at an average level. I am not acting superior to anybody, I am not, in any way perfect with English at kahit sa Tagalog. I may have already made a thousand mistake just on this post alone but I want someone na hindi ako mahihirapan mag-explain, iyong tipong gets na agad, ganun. It’s particularly important in any kind of relationship, communication is vital. We all have our so-called “level”, we may not notice it but it is what makes us more comfortable with some group of people than the greater majority. I guess it’s enough of that.

We went on talking, we’ve become so comfortable with each other that we talked about almost anything without even holding back. She got me talking about myself, my interest, and who I was. I am quite dumbfounded by what seems to be a simple question. I didn’t really know how to answer so I did it by the book. I answered her the way I would answer a job interviewer so as to make a very impressive image of myself. I told her something like i was a writer, debater, photographer, best student, best employee etc…I actually I tried to tell her as little as I could because it’s really hard to share them all in a text message. Also, I seem to have lost track of who I really was but sure enough her questions got me to look back and ask who I was.

Well, I am a writer, I’ve always been the school paper’s Editor-in-Chief from Elementary until I graduated from high school. I mastered editorial writing and in fact I reached the National Level Competition on that field, During my year as an exchange student In the states participated in an International Essay writing contest with the theme “PeaceThrough Understanding” and I got in the top 10 spot and so my work was published in an International Mag, It’s quite a feat considering more than 50 countries participated. My name is searchable in google and some of my works are still up to this day available online. During college I joined the elite’s of Lyceum of the Philippines University’s Debate Society from which I got the chance to debate and win against some of the country’s best young minds in PIDC. I was once tagged as the “Walking encyclopedia of Philippine History” for I am the only person who held 3 consecutive Championship in Philippine History Quiz Bee’s right at the nation’s capital here in Manila. I, among the 40 others in the whole nation was chosen to comprise the first batch of the AFS-YES Scholars who embarked in a year long exchange study to the United States fully funded and supported by the U.S Government. I, the only exchange student bested the whole class of Power’s Catholic High School for having the best Port Folio on a technology show, my photos were so liked that it reached the attention of Fuji Ykl, Philippines that they offered to do a exhibit with me in their biggest franchise in Mall of Asia (One thing I didn’t do). Up to this day, I’m thankful for the s7000 camera they have provided me. I, the only non-American who participated in Michigan’s Youth Leadership Forum in Lansing, Michigan U.S.A where I actually took the post of Chairperson during an event where we sat down with two Michigan Senators and discussed bills. For several occasions, I have already served as a guest speaker in various conferences among them was one sponsored by the Department of Tourism where Mr. Paolo Bediones himself served as the Master of Ceremonies. I’ve been in Malacañang a couple of times with President Gloria Arroyo present at one occasion for courtesy calls. I’ve been in the U.S Embassy countless times to meet High Ranking American Dignitaries visiting our country. I myself have also been to the U.S Capitol in Washington D.C to meet with Michigan Congressman, Dale Kildee and at the same time I met the Philippine Ambassador to the U.S at the time on our very own Embassy in D.C . I have met the last two U.S Ambassador to the Philippines Amb. Ricciardone and Amb. Kenny in several occassions and even U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the U.S State Department.

At the age of 19, I’ve handled, trained many young but promising students though while I was still a student at the time. I handled training sessions about school paper writings, history and I’ve trained a couple of souls to also become exchange students working for peace.

These are just some of the highlights of what I have achieved so far, the list in itself is already amazing but even more surprising is that I did all that before the age of 19. At that age and at the rate I was going, I was unstoppable. But then, I did. In fact, now I don’t know how I did all that. I am not that “Marlon” anymore. I, who was once featured in ‘Wish Ko Lang’ for the inspiration I bring to many people because I have endured despite of the fact that I am actually physically challenged person. Up to this day, I’d be surprised by people approaching me telling me they saw me on T.V (by the way it was 5 or 4 years ago already) and was inspired of my story. All along I thought I was just accomplishing these things for my mother, my teachers, my school and our country but at the end of the day, I may be doing all these for myself. Not to grab attention—I get that easily but to get respect. I, who was supposed to be the inspiration, lost every bit of reason for my very existence. One day I woke up and I didn’t know what I was here for. I was overwhelmed by all the craziness and cruelties life and the world has to offer. The flame that burns inside me died just like that. I was weaker than I thought. I’ve always said I’d take the road that I will create but I got lost. I remember back then I always wanted to be the difference but I guess it wouldn’t hurt if sometimes I would just like be everybody else.

No extra effort required.

Pakiramdam ko nag back fire iyong tanong ko sa kanya. “IKAW? SINO KA?”. Sure, I’ve accomplished so much, I’ve done a lot and experienced a lot already but none of it all these things I mentioned gives an answer to the question “Sino ka?”. I think it’s a means to get respect because only after you earned it that you get the chance to show who you are. Sa sobrang trying hard ko mag-pa-impress eh napilitan akong hukayin iyong pinakamagagandang bagay tungkol sa akin, mga bagay na nakalimutan kong ako pala. At the least, she reminded me na madami pala akong kayang gawin at marami pa akong pwedeng gawin. Naisip ko rin na sa sobrang dami ng tao sa mundo, siguro kahit ang Diyos nalilito at minsan nakakalimutan ka kaya lahat na lang ng masamang pwedeng mangyari sayo nangyari na. Or baka talagang iniwan niya lang ako muna because He trusted me enough na kaya ko na. I failed him. But it’s about time I get back on my feet. So, pagbalik niya. I’d be better than before.

Coincidence or Fate?

We’ve only known each other for a few hours but I felt like I’ve known her forever, we had so much in common that I started to consider the fact someone up somewhere wanted us to actually know each other. I’ve been through hell. All along I felt that I was on a quicksand—I was waiting to die but at the same time I was hopelessly waiting for someone to pull me up from the trouble I was in. She was a stranger out of nowhere but she extended her hand and she pulled me up, and then right after I was back on the same ground, she slapped me in the face as if she was telling me

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

96.3 W.Rock Entries


Hello there HP and GC...

I just waNt to send my opinion on the poll question about telling your friend how you feel if you already fell for him/her.

I have actually done it twice already, both times didn't work out but alteast i was able to tell them how i felt, i don't have any regrets because now i don't have any what if's in my head. At first, it did hurt knowing that they didn't feel the same way and that they only saw me as friend but that actually brought as much closer, i know the story is not the same to everyone because some girls by instinct move away once they knew how you felt which for me is very unfair...Hindi ka na nga nila kayang mahalain, ayaw pa nilang mahalin mo sila...

Fear of losing the friendship is perfectly understandable but the risks is worth it. Keeping your feelings to yourself is like not even giving yourself a chance to be happy. Hindi ba't kapag kaharap mo siya eh hindi mo mapigilan tanungin ang sarili mo kung mahal ka rin niya? Questions are only answered when asked.

Iyon lang po, by the way i have sent my story before but i haven't heard it being read yet siguro kasi mahaba, i will try to come up with a shorter version..

Here's the only record i have of one my letters that was read on-air.

Read.mp3 -

Hello there again HP and GC...

First, let me thank you for reading my letter about the previous poll question and hopefully this one will get as far...It really felt good hearing my words being spoken my the best tandem on the air. I enjoy listening to you guys a lot...siguro kayong dalawa ang pinakamagandang impluwensiya sa akin nung girl na iyon, kung sino man iyon. hehehe

I just wanted to comment on the poll question about which is more painful, letting go of love because it's one sided, or staying in love even when it's one sided? I think it goes like that..

Loving one sided comes with the idea of loving someone without expecting something in return but the mere fact that we get hurt when we find out that the person we admire doesn't love us back is just an indication that we actually expected something. At the least some of us expects that we get noticed, Iyong tipong Andian ka pala, iyong alam nilang that you exist.Paramdam as most would like to call it.

Let's put it this way, para kang humawak ng isang lobo, bitawan mo man siya o hindi mawawala siya sa iyo one way or the other, it's either that you set it free and you watch it from afar, pabayaan mo siyang lumaya or you can hang on to it at makikta mo na lang siyang nawawalan na ng hangin..we can only hold to something for so long, nakakangawit din iyon.

You will hurt yourself more if you hang on to something you can never hurt yourself everyday knowing you can't be loved back. Unlike kapag nag let go ka,its just a one big blow... masakit sa una pero in the long run beneficial.. in the process you are giving yourself a chance to love another person and hopefully that person can really love you back.

Keeping your heart from beating doesn't always kill you. You'll feel love even more once it starts to beat again.

I already sent the shorter version of my story, hopefully you'll find it short enough...hahaha

thanks guys...


3rd Letter

I have always kept myself really busy for about a year now simply because at the moment that i stopped doing anything i can't really help myself to start thinking about her.

She was my classmate in high school But i've never really got the chance to actually know her not until after i got back from the U.S.. Everything started from a simple "kamusta" through text, ako naman since kababalik lang, i was really eager to know how everyone's was. Simpleng usapan napunta sa kung ano-anong bagay at ilang linggo pa ang lumipas sobrang close na kami. I even organized a reunion outing about 2 years ago para lang mas may reason ako na makita siya.

This girl came when i was really down and so i was able to vent out everything i felt about what happened to me in the past, i got really attached and she became a part of my everyday routine. It was just very stupid on my side that i neglected the fact that this girl was actually one of the girls that was involved with again the "perfect" guy na batchmate namin. I should have known that she too was not yet over him--well i knew but i didn't care. She gave a lot of early warning signs but i ignored everything. I really couldn't help falling for her. I told her about it and we remained as close and nothing changed and i was really ok with that set up until the "perfect" guy started na magparamdam ulit. She told me that she is giving him a chance so i did what i think was best. Stay away. i gave her the space and freedom to do decide without having to think about how i would feel. I knew that would make her happy so i let go, ayon lang naman din ang gusto ko.

I really have the tendency to fall sa mga kaibigan kong girls lalo't sobrang naging ka-close ko sila, in fact, before i left and even after i got i was still very much inlove dun sa 'bestfriend' ko nung highschool whom i've known naman since elementary. I remember despida ko nun when infront of everyone i told her how much i loved her and kahit na ako iyong lalayo at aalis, ako pa rin iyong maghihintay sa kanya.
I've always looked forward to saturday mornings nuon when i was in the states kasi we always chat, friday night dito nun. Kwentuhan at balitaan pero there were times that i didn't hear anything from her because something was happening na pala here. She started to get really close dun sa batchmate namen which everyone regards as the "perfect" guy. She fell for him but this guy was also involved with a lot of girls at hindi niya nagawang nag-commit sa kanya. So when i returned, my girl was broken-hearted which i found out from my friends, so even before i went back i already emailed her saying that i knew what happened and that it was ok with me, we are supposed to remain as friends but when i went back she gave me signs that she is willing to commit and even told me that she loved me. Naging kami but for less than a month. She was not over that guy plus her parents really did not want me for her.

I am happy to say right now that i am actually over both of them, tapos na sa akin lahat ng nangyari at isa na lang silang memories na magandang pagtawanan. The only sad part now is that i've become too careful. I didn't want to become really close kahit kanino kaya in the process there was one person na nasaktan ko ng todo which i am really guilty about. one more thing is that when i am not busy and not doing anything, dahil sa hindi ko na nga siya naiisip masyado eh parang lumilipad na lang ang isip ko at hindi ko maiwasan maramdamang nag-iisa pala ako.

I really am sorry about the long letter, this is already as short as i can make it. Hopefully, you'll find this interesting enough to be read. I am sure it can put a smile not only on my face but also doon sa dalawang girl na iyon kapag narinig nila to.

Thank you so much


Hello HP and GC...

As always i wanTed to tell you how i enjoy listening to your show. You're already part of my routine every sunday morning. I wrote another letter last week perhaps it's too long to be read but i assure you it's worth reading. hehehe. I just wanTed to comment on the Light roCk poll Question about the Heart and the Mind?

There is this quote i've heard before. Kapag mahal mo iyong isang tao and you have reasons as to why you do, it means that you're using your mind in loving that person. But if you love a person without a reason meaning--you just do. Then it's your heart you're using. Gets ba? DId i say it right? Well, i agree. Loving a person i think isn't something you can think about. It just happens, you fall for someone without reasons or for reasons you can't understand. The thinking part comes after falliing in-love. You use you're mind not to decide if you should love someone or not but instead you use it to weigh things around--perhaps you'd want to think about whether you should push through with your love or not. We fall for the most random people in the world, some of us love those people who are already married or involved with another person. sometimes we love people from other religions, or culture. sometimes we fall for people with the same gender. Sometimes we fall for people that couldn't be accepted by your family for reasons we don't know. The typical love we can consider "love that could have been, but could never be" if you know what i mean. hehehehe

Just want to request the song, Don't knoW what to do, don't know what to sAy, wala lanG just wanted to listen to it. and Also pls greet my Friend Toyang,
belated Happy B-Day last July 9, Gang ngayon hindi ko pa siya binabati eh

Thanks again,


Hello there again HP anD GC,

YEHEY!! That's what i first said when i heard you guys mentioned that you will grant my "request" for a copy of the "love that could have been but could never be" album. Also, thank you in advance for reading it. I know it's very long, but again i know it's worth it. hehehe...

This week i'll just comment on the stories i've heard two weeks in a row na, about dun sa mga girls who condemns guys for only looking at the "physical appearance" of girls. Well, i can't help them thinking that way because of the experiences they've had which admittedly is sad. But i bet to disagree na it's only guys who gives "physical looks" that much importance. Guys experience the same thing, It's not about the gender, it's about the society in general. It's sad and unfair but its a reality

Have you guys seen the movie HItch by will smitH? it's one of my favorites movies. That's a perfect example and i think you should watch it. (just remember it's a movie on guys perspective) but i am sure you'll get the idea.

It's wrong that we let ourselves fall victim to the mainstream's idea of beauty. What i found wrong was the part when the girl pretended to be someone else, though she mentioned it's an act of revenge, i find it a desperate move on her part. As she had said, kahit na sobrang smart, funny and talagang lovable iyong nature niya, she chose to pretend to be someone else. Ngayon dilemma niya kung siya ba iyong minahal nung guy or iyong picture.

I am not ugly--atleast i think. hehehe but i am not the kind of guy whom you'd really pay attention to or perhaps you would fall for in just one meeting. Though i am smart, funny, very talented and at my age very successful, none of it matters kung you're not gonna have a chance to really show who you are. Instead of pretending, what i do is make sure that people will know me--actual me, i do it through friendster and my own website. You have to love yourself first and accept everything about you before you can expect someone to love you. If they couldn't accept it, then they don't deserve you. Unless, they get passed that point of accepting the physical aspect then all you could do is wait for the right one to come along. Sabi ko nga, "Madali naman ako mahalin, mahirap lang siguro tanggapin."

Again, it's sad, it's unfair. But its the reality.

it's me,


Hello there Again, HP and GC!

Wow! Na-starstruck talaga ako kay Ate Cherry, Nawala iyong pagkamadaldal ko at nagmukha akong tanga sa pagiging unresponsive ko sa mga tanong niya. I've met quite a lot of powerful and influential people na but it's totally different with ate cherry and it was strange hearing you talk in person. Lalo na siguro kung andun din si kuya paul. Hehehe Sayang talaga at hindi ko siya inabutan. Anyway, thanks again sa CD!

This week, i'd like to write a comment on our poll question. I don't know the exact question pero it's like a mutation nung tanong about letting go and fighting for love. i think the question is kung sino ang totoong nagmahal, iyong nag let go o iyong taong ipinaglaban ka?

Are we really in the right position to answer this question fairly? I mean, there are many reasons as to why a person chooses to let go, same goes as to why one fights for love? Let's put this on the right perspective.

More often than not, a reciprocated love is one who finds a reason to fight for love. Tipong you and me against the world thing. Feeling mo lahat kaya basta’s kasama mo siya. It’s just plain stupidity to fight for love when the feeling your fighting for goes one sided. Parang ikaw si superman kaso ayaw naman ni Lois lane sumama sa paglipad mo. Mahirap atang makipaglaban na iyong ipinaglalaban mo eh ayaw naman ipaglaban mo sila—worst thing is, kung iyong pag-ibig mo pa mismo iyong kalaban.

At that point, you don’t call it true love. You call it desperation.

Sabi naman ng kanta, “letting go daw is just another way of saying I’ll always love you so”. “Sacrificial love” is what we fondly call it. Is it really a sacrifice or it’s more like a self-preservation thing? Are we doing it to give the person their happiness or it's just because we can no longer bear the pain and the sad truth that we are not loved back? Or perhaps, finally we’ve come to realize that it’s simply a love that could have been, but could never be?

Sometimes, letting go is not a choice. Sometimes it’s all that’s left for you to do.

Fighting for love and letting go can be both considered as an act of courage, an act of true love and I’m pretty sure both sounds pretty heroic but It’s something that most of us doesn’t really want to find ourselves in. Salamat na lang ke kuya paul and ate cherry kasi every week naririnig natin how to avoid reaching this point and that if we must face it, We know we are not alone. Lagi silang andian, handang makinig.

Iyon ang ending diba? Hehehe thanks ulet sa CD


December 21, 2008



It’s no secret I’ve been in-love before,

So deep that the pain I can’t ignore

My heart is in pieces as it fell on the floor

Pain speaks for itself—I thought not to love anymore

Hours have passed as though they were years

In my eyes all I can see was tears

Happiness all taken out of me

No one is to be blamed—no one but me

Then you came and brought me out of the shell

You pulled me out of hell

You brought me up here—heaven as I can tell

You pulled me out of hell where I fell

I know I died but I’m here revived by you

I smile by the mere thought of you

Now I actually think I’m falling for you

Can’t help it, but I’ve fallen for you

Wrong I might be…but how can it be?

I feel so right, coz God! I’ve never been this happy

How can it be wrong when it feels so right?

To be with you…is where I wanna be

I want to make you as happy as you make me.





Our hearts often beat for the wrong person,

They love for what seems to be no good reason,

No matter what we do, we can't make a lie of what is true

We fall, We love but why? We don't even have a single clue

Back then i've always been taught

Death is nothing for those who loved and fought

Love then to me was always a wonderful thought

You came, You smiled and i knew it was love that you brought

I felt a bit odd and somewhat crazy,

My heart beat tripled as if it was in a hurry

It was Christmas in June, Everyday seemed to be so merry

Sunlight never felt so warm, I had no idea that love too can end in tragedy

Looking back, i may have loved you too much too soon

Because now, i feel sad and as blue as the moon

Nothing seems to make me smile, not even a funny cartoon

I felt as though, the flowers never even bloomed

Now i feel i can dive in front of a fighting platoon

My heart now is nothing but an empty room

All i wished for was to be your only groom

Why did everything ended so soon?


December 16, 2008



"Iba ang gumagawa ng wala sa walang ginagawa"
-Bob Ong

Eto ako, si Marlon. Isang taong gumagawa ng wala. Tuwing wala akong magawa, eh gumagawa ako ng wala at salamat sa Internet, nakakagawa ako ng wala. Huh?


Bata pa ako marami na akong tanong sa isip ko. Iyong iba nasagot na ng kung sino-sinong nakilala ko, iyong iba naman ako mismo nakatuklas ng solusyon pero marami doon ang tanong pa rin sa isip ko kahit ngayong medyo bata na lang ako. Actually, sa tingin ko nga eh mas marami akong tanong ngayon at mas mahihirap itong sagutin. Buti pa noon musmos pa ako, ang mga tanong ko lang eh iyong tipong bakit nagsasalita iyong mga hayop sa t.v.? Bakit walang snow dito sa Pilipinas? Tska bakit parang antagal lagi magpasko? Uhm.. (Iniisip ko kung tinanong ko ba noong bata ako kung bakit asul ang ulap pero naisip ko bigla hindi ko pala iyon itatanong kasi favorite color ko naman iyong blue dati at isa pa, medyo mahirap na tanong iyong kahit sa isang matanda).

Dati noong bata pa ako, naiisip ko palagi. Bakit parang ambagal magpasko? Ngayon naman medyo bata na langa ako, bakit ambilis magpasko? Nagbago ba ang bilis ng oras at mga araw o nawalan lang ako ng dahilan para matuwa at hintayin ang pasko?Dahil ba ako na ngayon ang hinihingan ng pamasko at hindi na ako ang namamasko? Kung alam ko lang dito mahahantong sa ang lahat eh di sana hindi ako masyadong nakipagkaibigan para wala akong masyadong inaanak. Ngayon naiintindihan ko na iyong mga ninong at ninang ko bakit parang lagi sila umaalis sa bahay nila kapag pasko at bakit parang lagi kami nagkakasalisi tuwing namamasko ako. Hindi naman ganito ang pasko dati. Ang pasko dapat masaya at nakaka-excite, ngayon pressure na lang ito para magsaya. Dati kapag pasko--kahit routine at mukhang paulit-ulit ang ginagawa namin at the end kahit papaano masasabi kong pasko nga ang araw na iyon. Dahil medyo may mga isip na kami nagkaroon na rin kami ng kanya-kanyang mundo. Dating mga kasama mong tao wala na o may kasama ng iba. Mga pinsan kong dati kasabay ko namamasko ngayon may mga anak na, iyong iba masyado na rin matanda para mamasko kaya sigurado tulad ko nung nasa age nila ako, kasama na nila ang barkada sa pasko. Ambilis ng panahon, nakalimutan ko na isang linggo lang pala ang pagitan ng Pasko at Bagong Taon at tuwing magpapasko, nagbabago ang taon. Hindi ko man lang namalayan.

I am lost.

Nasa gitna ako ng pagkabata at isang pagiging ganap na matanda. Hindi ko lubos maisip na ganun pala kadali at kasarap ang pagiging bata. Iyong wala kang worries at kahit ilang beses kang magkamali ay palaging meron nagtatama ng mga bagay para sa iyo. Kapag bata ka, konting iyak mo lang, ibibigay na ng magulang mo iyong gusto mo. Madaling matulog ng hindi mo iniintindi kong anong darating sayo kinabukasan, kung sakaling may nakaaway ka man konting oras lang lilipas at bati na ulit kayo. Kapag bata ka, ang worst fear mo na eh iyong masira ang paborito mong laruan o kaya naman eh iyong mumo sa dilim. Kapag bata ka, halos lahat ng bagay na sinasabi at nakikita mo ay madali mong pinaniniwalaan, hindi mo na alam kung saan at kung kanino ka maniniwala. Kapag bata ka hindi mahirap maging masaya dahil lahat ng bagay mas madali mong na-appreciate kahit napakasimple lang nito kung iisipin ko ngayon. Kapag tumanda ka humihirap ang pagiging masaya dahil alam mo na ang pinagkaiba ng pagtawa sa kaligayahan. Nakakatuwang isipin, parang lumilipas lang ang bawat araw ng walang nagbabago pero isang araw magigising na lang tayo na iba na ang lahat.

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