To My Fellow Davaoeños: We Know the Truth. We Can't Be Bothered.

First of all, I have to say I am not a political beast, and there is no way I intend this to be a political post. But sure, I have my moments.

With all these political hullabaloos, especially involving our dear Mayor Duterte, it's no surprise Davao City has also been dragged into heated and intriguing arguments. Kesyo hindi naman daw Davao ang safest city in the world. Kesyo nabubuhay sa takot sa otoridad ang mga tao dito. Kesyo kill joy si Digong pero sumusunod pa rin tayo. Kesyo para tayong creeps na sunod-sunoran at nagpapauto sa batas na nagtatanggal sa ating karapatang makapaglibang (oo na, madaming bawal dito). Kesyo ganito, ganyan, at marami pang iba.

I am sick of hearing and reading negative and wrong comments made about Davao City. I am tired of telling people to come to Davao so we can prove them wrong. With the power of social media combined with all this political drama where everybody is "smart" and has an opinion to everything, it is inevitable that we'd be thrown sticks, stones, shit and all.

But I'm not here to come to anyone's defense or write a counterargument. There must be hundreds written about that already. And if I did, however well-thought and brilliantly it was written, none of that will really matter because those Anti-Duterte/Anti-Davao won't be bothered by that crap and will refuse to believe in that anyway. So why waste precious time refuting an argument and attack naysayers by any virtual means when it's pointless to argue with someone who only listens to what he wants to hear?

This serves as a friendly reminder from one Davaoeño to another. Let's take pride in the awesomeness that is our city without running amok, bombing ad hominem and lambasting anyone who speaks ill of Davao or our Mayor. We do not need to retaliate. Arguments that escalate to name-calling and insults to one's mental capacity do not help. We know better than that. We don't stoop down. We hold our heads up and show them our strengths and the virtues we uphold that stem from the roots of our city. Remember, we are disciplined, honest, friendly, well-mannered, and law-abiding citizens. We are Davaoeños. We lead by example.

And since this is a free country where the government seems to be coming apart at the seams and the justice system fails the society, we can't stop anyone from inflicting petty crimes of cyber attacking us. So let them haters bombard us with harsh and destructive criticisms. Let them tell us we are wrong. Let them tell us otherwise. Let them believe we're suffering from delusions of grandeur. Let them call us names.

None of that matters anyway.

Because deep within ourselves, we know who we are. And we are the goddamn lucky people to be living under the Davao sky. We are the ones reaping the benefits of a good governance. We are the ones enjoying the fruits of our taxes. We are the ones who feel safe. We are the ones who know what it's like to live in Davao City - a place where there is unity in diversity, where progress and peace can coexist, where life truly exists.

Of Twerks and Thank Yous

I should have written this post the moment I knew this blog won a major award in Bloggys 2015. A few bloggers have published a word of thanks on the same date after bagging their awards and I could have done it too knowing I wasn't actually doing anything the night they announced the winners. But from the moment Jan broke the news to me, I fell short of words. I had to wait a day or two for the elating feeling to subside because my vocabulary became limited to "oh", "my", and "gosh", and only in that particular order.

Honestly, I do not know what to say anymore. I believe I have already said everything before - from the moment I got nominated to the time I made it to the voting stage and when I finally became one of the finalists. I never thought I'd have to write another post for this. I don't want to make it sound like I'm giving a speech in The Oscars (albeit the feeling might be pretty much the same thing), so I'll keep this short and simple. This may sound like a broken record, but I'm going to say it again anyway...THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I guess, no matter how many Thank Yous I write, it will never be enough to express how grateful I am to every single one of you reading my blog, my family and friends who never get tired of clicking the links I shamelessly feed on Facebook, and to Jan who always believes in me. You fuel my desire to write, be better, and make a difference. I know more blogs deserve your time than mine, that's why I am truly honored. Again, thank you!

Life Is So Full of Tae won Best Personal/Diary Blog in #Bloggys2015 Philippine Blogging Awards. So as promised, this is yours truly twerking it (even) better than Miley:

Finally found a way to post a "video" of me twerking without giving you nightmares. I hope you guys didn't think I won just because I said I'd do a twerking vid if I win, did you? Haha.

The Past Has Kept Me Grounded

I visited my Alma mater earlier and this is how it looks today:
I remember I was in my high school senior year, not more than 14 years ago, when everything you see in there was still under construction. We didn't have that world-class track and field, an indoor pool, and the huge sports complex with those shower rooms that would have saved us from going home smelly after rigorous hours of training. Our football field wasn't as beautiful as that either. And even so, we had to fight for practice space with the PMT cadets and COCC trainees. Yes, we were the reigning football champs of our time but I would like to think training would have been better if our field was like that. Too bad, the construction finished only after I stepped into the university.

Seeing all these changes, however, made me realize one thing: things do get better in time.

Humanity Is Not Only for a Select Few

THERE'S A WHOLE LOT OF SCARY STUFF GOING ON IN THE WORLD TODAY. Yesterday, I woke up to a tragic news. Yes, we are outraged with what happened in Paris. While the hashtag #PrayForParis that has been all over the internet punches you right in the gut, stabs you in the heart and etches terror in it, it is comforting to know how much the world cares about this terrible tragedy that happened.

But truth be told, sadly, we have been selective of humanity. While almost everybody supports France by turning their profile pictures on Facebook filtered with the French flag on it, the cries of the people getting trapped and killed in the rubble of their very own homes in Palestine fall on deaf ears. Tragedies like this do not only happen in Paris. Violent deaths happen every day. People die in the most brutal way every day. More than the broken bodies and broken homes, people live with fear, broken dreams and broken lives - even far worse than death - every day. Why do we turn a blind eye on the less developed countries?
via Facebook
The blood that spew across the streets of Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya and Egypt, is the same blood that scattered across the streets of Paris - from humans. Yet, people stand silent, no flag to show support, and people are even oblivious about it. Shouldn't we also be outraged and storm the heaven with prayers for the things happening on a daily basis in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Africa or any part of the world that has been dwelling in the dark? (Not to mention, the Lumad killings right inside our own backyard.)

I condemn the attack in Paris. And it felt disturbing reading about the news yesterday. But I felt even more disturbed seeing the French flag all over Facebook today. Because the way I see it, it only shows how selective we are of the sympathy we give to people. Not that I'm asking you to stop doing or praying for it. By all means, please do. It's just that I feel disappointed, bitter, perhaps hurt, and definitely ethnically inferior knowing that I also live in a third world country. Maybe we can pray for the world and for humanity instead, and not just for Paris.

Thank You!

First of all, I really don't know what to say.

I am still waiting for my brain to fully process my thoughts and turn them into words. Because right now, my mind's clouded with emotions that the words just might not come out right [insert inaudible words, shriek, and mild and stifled sobs here]. And I also suspect ninjas have been cutting onions in front of me again.

But it's not what you think it is. No drama, I promise. Earlier today, I was in for a huge surprise because.... drumroll please...