Beatrice' Story: CHAPTER ONE
Paano ka nga ba maga-adjust kapag merong babaeng nauna sa’yo sa buhay niya? ‘Yun bang magmula pagkabata sila na ‘yung magkasama at kilalang kilala na nila ang isa’t isa na kung hindi mo sila kilala ng lubusan ay aakalain mong magboyfriend, girlfriend sila.
Yes, Leah. I’ve heard bestfriendbest friend stories in your program and lagi lagi ko ring napapanuod ‘yung mga bestfriendbest friend stories kung saan ‘yung isa mafa-fall pero ‘yung lalaki magkaka-girlfriend ng iba. Most of the time, ‘yung girlfriend ‘yung parang kontrabida at daot sa kwento.
Siguro for some, yes pero sa kwento ko, being in a relationship with a man who grew up with his girl bestfriendbest friend just activates jealousy in my system. Sa totoo lang hindi lang ‘yung girl bestfriendbest friend ang nahihirapang mag-adjust kundi pati rin ako na girlfriend.
Leah, ako si Beatrice and I am not an insecure person. Hindi ako selosa o ano because you cannot expect naman your man not to interact with other girls sa dinami dami ba naman ng tao sa mundo.
But then, even if you are not an insecure and a jealous person, paano ka hindi mai-insecure kung kitang kita mo kung paano nila naiintindihan ang isa’t isa while you, you are still figuring out the ‘this and that’. ‘Yun bang ang laki ng parang kailangan mong habulin kasi magmula pagkabata sila na ‘yung magkasama?
It would have been okay, maybe makakapag-adjust din ako but his actions Leah are not helping that I questioned kung bakit pa niya ako niligawan if there is already this bestfriendbest friend who acts like his girlfriend as well?
Why am I still in the picture? Why did he still include me in their life? I am the girlfriend but it feels like he is more committed to his bestfriendbest friend who admitted that she had loved him since they were little.
Leah, isa akong gymnast and I devoted my life to training kasi I started when I was in 5th grade. I was inspired sa ate namin na nakiki-compete na sa regional level nun and that kapag may competitions siya, lahat kami talaga sa pamilya – our parents tapos kaming tatlong kapatid niya – manunuod talaga kami at magchi-cheer. ‘Yung kahit saan siya mapadpad, talagang babiyahe kami at si daddy talagang kahit long drive hindi yan aatras.
Ako ‘yung bunso sa aming apat and just like my ate ay sinuportahan din ako nang magka-interest nga ako sa gymnastics.
Ang ginagawa kasi nun Leah, ang athlete sa amin kapag may younger siyang kapatid ite-train na rin para kapag grumadweyt na ‘yung older sibling, susunod naman ‘yung isa. Nung grade 5 ako nagsimula sumabak sa competitions pero grade 4 pa lang ay sumasama na ako sa ate na ga-graduate na ng elementary, sa trainings nila.
Honestly, it was fun at first because I started observing muna and just merely watching them, ang sarap sa feeling and that gustong gusto ko ng bumaba from the bleachers at ibato bato ‘yung bola tapos mag-create ng parang snake likes shape with the ribbon.
My sister’s graceful movement is just so amazing na talagang kitang kita ‘yung galing niya sa laro but I know for certain that it was not easy for her kasi I’ve seen and heard her cry many times. Nakita ko ‘yung mga pasa niya, ‘yung pagpipigil niyang ‘wag kumain masyado kasi nga she has to retain a certain weight, ‘yung pagyakap sa kanya ni mommy when she feels like giving up, at ‘yung pag-suffer niya ng different pain – maybe it be physically, mentally, and emotionally.
But watching her do her thing, lahat ng hirap niya parang wala lang kasi nga in the first place, she loves what she is doing and that’s what matters, Leah. No matter how hard things are if you love what you are doing, you can still get up out there and perform well.
I am really inspired by my sister Leah but getting into the game, I was not spared by the same challenges and difficulties my ate had to experience and endure. Pero let us set something straight, I am far from my ate at ‘yung hirap niya ay doble sa akin kasi hindi ako magaling.
Sa totoo lang I’ve been compared sa ate ko most of the times. I’ve been even bullied kasi nga sa team namin ako talaga ‘yung pinakamahina, compared sa ate ko na siyang pinakamahusay sa time nila.
Ako ‘yung pinakamahina, na our coaches had to cover their eyes sa tuwing sumesemplang ako during competition na, tapos maririnig ko talaga ‘yung pagkainis sa mga kasamahan ko na hindi na ako papansinin after.
Why did they have to get me kung ako ang pinakamahina? It’s because I am qualified if compared sa mga nag-attempt, pero inside the team na, ako ang pinakamahina.
Thinking about it now, one of the factors why I always fail noon is the pressure, I cannot really perform under pressure noon. Kasi everyone knows I am the sister of my ate who is always the champion. People expect me to be as amazing and outstanding like her and just the thought Leah, manginginig na ako until my nerves will get the best of me.
In my 2 years as an athlete in elementary, ni isang medal hindi ako nakapag-uwi and I know kahit hindi sila magsalita, I just felt like I really disappointed my parents and this break me even more.
My ate is an it girl, kumbaga siya talaga ‘yung pinaka-crush ng lahat sa school. Maganda siya, no doubt about that at maganda rin kasi magdala ng sarili. Alam na alam niya kung ano ‘yung susuutin at kung paano ayusin ‘yung buhok niya.
Very popular siya sa school and even other schools sa amin ay kilala rin siya. Apart din kasi sa pagiging mahusay at awardee na gymnast ay sumasali rin siya sa mga beauty pageant na kung saan ay nananalo siya.
She had several titles sa school and even outside. While ako? I was a nerd, wearing glasses correctional glasses dahil unti unti na ngang naaapektuhan ‘yung mga mata ko dahil sa pagbabasa. ‘Yung pananamit ko rin? Wala I am just a shirt and jeans girl tapos ‘yung buhok ko talagang nakakalat lang.
In short, hindi lang sa sports na gymnastic lamang sa akin ang ate ko kundi sa napakaraming bagay din.
Leah, kahit hindi sabihin ng mga magulang ko, si ate ang favorite child nila. ‘Yung dalawang kuya ko, though laging nakaalalay at supportive ay walang pakialam dahil nga may sariling mundo … while ako, meron kasi the path my ate navigates should be the one I should be exploring. Yes Leah, basically, the society expected me to be like my ate but I just couldn’t because I am not her, and this is just simply me.
When I entered high school, kami na ni ate ang magkasama sa gymnast. 2 ang agwat namin and kami lang din ang dalawang babaeng kasi lalaki ‘yung dalawa pang mga kuya namin na walang pakialam sa sports.
Leah, I thought it was going to be okay with my ate around kasi nandiyan siya to at least guide me and hold my trembling hand during competitions. Pero it was the contrary dahil mas lalong humirap ‘yung buhay ko.
Being a shadow of my ate literally is just so draining, exhausting, and at some point it became even depressing. For my 1st two years in high school, I always cry at night kasi why can’t I just be as good as my sister?
Okay kami ng ate ko, in fact we are each other’s best friends but our surroundings just seem to love comparing us and showing me that I will never be as good as her and might as well I should just quit. Alam mo ‘yung even in the family? I know it’s not their intention but when they celebrate for my ate’s victory, they remind me that I am a loser, a failure.
I can’t help not to think that way no matter how I tried to tell myself to cheer up and just train, in no time you will be great … but Leah, ang hirap kasi kahit saang anggulo ka man lumingon at kahit saan corner ka mang magpunta ay kinukumpara ka pa rin sa ate mo.
And so really Leah, I really tried so hard … so hard that I sprained my angklesankles many times, I incurred many bruises than a normal gymnast, I nearly brokeeak my back, nagtiis akong ‘wag kumain para ma-maintain ko ‘yung weight ko, I endured several body pain and tried so hard to maintain myremain composuree, even though inside, I was really broken.
I tried to be great that I really trained more and spent more hours than a normal gymnast and in the end, I started bagging those most awaited and long due medals.
So what I did nga Leah, I really practiced and trained so hard na on my free time talaga nasa gym na ako. Madalas ay mag-isa ako kasi ‘yung mga ibang athlete, they only practice kapag required na, ako hindi and to be honest, I liked the idea na solo ko ang gym at wala ni isang matang manghuhusga sa akin at ikukumpara na naman ako sa kapatid ko.
I found peace and comfort Leah in the silence of the gym at tanging ‘yung pagbuntong hininga ko lang at sa bawat whimper I had to release sa bawat maling bagsak ko.
But little did I know Leah, there was somebody who had been watching me as I chastise myself for not being better at the same time as I pick myself up and try again and again and again.
It was our coach Leah, si ma’am Mathilda. Matagal niya akong pinapanood lang and all those times, I thought I was really alone not until nag-decide na siya to show up one time. Pagkakita ko sa kanya nun, I immediately started preparing myself to leave dahil kinain ako ng hiya bigla but then, nakangiti akong pinigilan ni ma’am Mathilda which is surprising kasi she is really strict at isa siya sa talagang nagco-compare sa aming magkapatid.
That’s why ganun na lamang ang gulat ko nang nakangiti niya akong pinigilan at saka inayang umupo sa matt. I was really preparing myself for a launched of lecture kasi hindi ako nagpaalam to use the gym but instead nakita ko ang isang side ni ma’am Mathilda na hindi ko aakalaing nage-exist.
Mabait din pala siya Leah and right from that talk we shared, I have never been so eager to finally spread my wings and make a name for myself.
Ma’am Mathilda told me na nakikita niya raw ‘yung sarili niya sa akin dahil bago rin daw siya naging national awardee sa gymnastics ay naranasan niya rin ‘yung naranasan ko na pambu-bully ng mga tao at team mates ko kasi nga hindi siya magaling.
Gaya ko sabi niya, she cried thousands of times but then at the end, she picked herself up and prove those people wrong at nag-practice lang daw siya nang nag-practice.
Hindi ko lubos akalain na mago-open up siya sa akin dahil si ma’am Mathilda talagang strikto at kinatatakutan namin but I was beyond thankful that she allowed me to see her soft side kasi magmula dito ay mas lalo akong na-inspire kasi kung kinaya ni ma’am, kakayanin ko rin.
So with the help of ma’am Mathilda, I trained and practiced again and again and again hanggang sa hindi na lang ‘yung ate ko ‘yung pinapalakpakan kundi maging ako na.
And Leah, during competition there is this certain person na lagi kong nakakalaban from other school. Actually, magaling din siya pero in the end, ako pa rin ‘yung nananalo. We didn’t interact, nagngingitian lang kami kapag nagkakasalubong pero ang hindi ko makakalimutan sa kanya ay ‘yung lalaking lagi lagi niyang kasama na talagang shadow niya at the same time cheerleader.
Hindi ko alam kung boyfriend niya o ano, basta they just simply seemed so close na ‘yung lalaki mismo ang mag-aabot ng tubig at towel nung kakompetensiya ko.
Nevertheless, from 3rd year high school, finally hindi ko na naririnig ‘yung ‘hindi ako katulad ng ate ko o mas malayong magaling siya sa akin’ dahil I finally gained that tamang timpla to continuously bag golds during competitions.
From the weakest, I became the consistent gold medal awardee. And Leah, hindi na lang ako shadow ng ate ko dahil unti unti na nilang nare-realize at nakikita ‘yung pag-shine ng sarili kong pangalan and so I could finally say that I have a name of my own… and this is me, not my ate’s shadow or anyone else, but rather just me.