Brane

Just another space for my lingering thoughts

I was scrolling down my Facebook feed when I came across a post from a person I met when I went on placements in Vietnam. She was able to receive a prize which would allow her to further her education overseas. What made me think as I was reading this post and others’ was how they emphasised the importance of achieving a perfect or near-perfect score in the IELTS to attain more opportunities overseas.

As my major for Arts, I undertook units which focused on how English is held on this high pedestal. A part of me understands that English is indeed essential in today’s society as globalisation is occurring. English is a lingua franca, a language needed to be able to communicate with different L1/L2 speakers. What was debated upon in the units that I took was achieving grammatical perfection when using English.

I know most Asian countries would focus on grammar and spelling when learning English, which I experienced when I was younger and when I was teaching in Vietnam. One incident that is still very vivid to this day was when the real teacher of the class (since they were monitoring our lessons) told me to pinpoint grammatical errors the students make right away. To me, this has its pros and cons. Immediate feedback would definitely be engrained in a child’s mind faster but if the child already has his/her reservations from learning English because of constant “That’s wrong” or “You’re wrong” feedback, then this will further distance them from learning the language in itself.

The main difference I realised growing up in two different countries is the emphasis that is placed when using English. In the Philippines, grammar and spelling is definitely the priority, hence you become a laughingstock when you make grammatical errors (which I believe is still seen in today, especially when I come across Facebook comments. It’s really quite toxic). While in Australia, there is a greater emphasis on your confidence to use English continuously, through writing or speaking. Of course, when writing essays, especially in primary and secondary school, grammatical mistakes will be corrected, but people don’t really correct you as much when you’re speaking. They’d rather continue the conversation than laugh or mock you. As this country is also not perfect, you will get some occasional rude person who would mock you for it but their grammar isn’t perfect as well. They just have the upper hand because of the colour of their skin or because they think they’re more superior than others.

Going back to the Facebook post I read earlier, I just wonder why English is still held in such a high pedestal to the point where others see it as open more opportunities for them to study overseas or abroad. Because even graduates from these “First World Countries” as also struggling when looking for jobs after all that ordeal in getting their bachelor or masters completed. Please enlighten me because I may be speaking from a perspective of a person who is ignorant of all these.

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This compound word derives from the word “イケてる (iketeru)” meaning “to look cool,” “to look pretty” or “to look hot” plus men giving you, ikemen (イケメン).

There’s this guy in my Japanese class who I just think is gorgeous. An ‘ikemen’ as I would classify him. I realised that I am drawn to guys who are outgoing and can handle themselves well. This guy is just like that. He is well articulate and presents himself in a way that will just awe you.

I admire people who at a young age are well established, just the opposite of me. I wonder how they can just go with the flow and own it because I struggle with it everyday.

Another thing that I realised when I think of these ikemen is that they are very ‘chinito-like’. Oo, mga bes! Gwapong-gwapo ako sa mga muhkang chinito. It might be because the first thing I normally look at is someone’s eyes. Pagsumikit na yun mga mata nila pag-ngumiti, tunaw na po puso ko.

This post really has no sense to it. I just felt like I need to share my baby-crush on this guy, hahaha!

What makes you call a person your bestfriend? Is it the endless chitchats you have when you see each other? Is it the instant flow of conversations regardless of lack of time and distance? Is it the outpour of life stories, coz why keep it to yourself? Is it just having that companion who will listen to you no matter what?

So what makes you call someone ‘bestfriend’? Because to me, nowadays, I don’t think I can quite call someone that. I feel as if as I slowly enter adulthood, I have less time for people around me. They say if someone’s important, you make time. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t but you realise that suddenly one day, putting in the effort is pointless when it isn’t reciprocated.

This will now turn into a rant so leave now if you don’t feel like reading it hahaha.

With this particular ‘bestfriend’ I’ve had countless of complications with and most I have confronted with her, coz it’s toxic for me to just keep it in. But an occurring problem between us is time. I see and communicate more with my highschool friend than with her. Then after a few months, I find out all these things about her. I mean, I’m not asking her to spill all the beans but don’t keep me in the dark while other people know about all your personal sheninegans. It’s so frustrating because I feel like I’m being left out. Maybe I’m overreacting and all but come on! I’m just so frustrated with how you’re treating this friendship.

Okay bye.

It’s been 2 months since I came back from Vietnam and boy, was it an experience. Where do I even begin? I want to be as transparent with my experience as possible because I have had good days and A LOT of bad days but before I continue, I made a short video on some of my experiences in Vietnam, particularly HCMC.

 

If you decided on watching the video, I hope you enjoy. Now let’s talk about my day-to-day experiences during my stay there. Let me just clear something out, I did not go there to travel. That wasn’t the purpose of me going there, although I do not mind going back for a week to travel more of HCMC. Earlier last year, I received an email from my faculty offering a placement experience overseas. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I entered university. I wanted to take my education and do it in a country I’ve never been to before. Although my case was not particularly related to my actual studies, as it was more for experience, I still went for it. At the end of the whole process, I was on my way to Vietnam, with 5 other girls.

The first thing I had to adjust to was the humidity. I was sweating puddles after I stepped out of the airport. It’s somewhat similar to Manila’s humidity and I hated it for the first week because I was so sticky before it was even noon. I didn’t even bother what I looked anymore, so most of the photos taken I was sweaty and looking very haggard. I brought makeup and everything to look presentable on days I was in school but I can’t even use it because the humidity was just too much that I had to keep wiping my face, so really there was no point to it.

Another thing I had to get used to is crossing wherever and whenever I needed to cross. Like in Vietnam, the Philippines do not have strict rules when it comes to crossing and you’d think I’d be okay with it since I grew up in the Philippines but I’ve become accustomed to following pedestrians rules that not having any rules make me panic.

There were a lot more things I had to adjust to but those two were my main ones.

Before I start this, I just want to say that I am not really comparing or finding the differences between TV Shows now and back then, rather it’s more about my change of perspective.

Growing up, I was a fan of TV shows that are directed towards teenagers. I used to watch Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place and other Disney shows. Likewise, I was into Japanese dramas and animes revolving around the characters school life. But like how the people who once played these characters grew, my love for this shows also outgrew. I don’t find them as appealing anymore and it even gets to the point to me cringing at how these “teenagers” act.

It’s not as entertaining anymore. I don’t get the same giddy feeling I get when the characters I root for are becoming more romantic towards each other. I only realised this when ads on this new coming-of-age Disney show pop up my feed.

Somewhat odd that something I used to enjoy is being disregarded. Is this one of the things you go through when you become an adult O.O.

I just wanted to share that. Just a quick drop by.

Let’s talk insecurities. I’m sure everyone has their own pile of insecurities. My biggest one thus far is my weight.

“So if you’re so concerned about your weight, why not lose it?”

Fair point. But let me be real here, FOOD IS LIFE! Food, to me, is everything. It’s my biggest comfort during my darkest days, apart from K-dramas and crying of course. Seriously though, growing up, I learnt to never, NEVER, throw away food even when I dislike it (except for maybe cheesecakes, coz that stuff is super bleurgh).

Health conscious people always tell me to just stop eating when I’m full or feel like I’m about to or to just not stack my plate (but I also eat with my eyes, so curse the person who makes it look presentable).

To be honest, though, I have dieted (which worked) and gymed (which again worked), but I just have too many excuses for myself. I admit that I have brought it upon myself to get to this point and now I am going through a self-loathing phase when I see my body in the mirror. It truly boils down to motivation and self-discipline.

i lack both

Where is this heading? Well, recently, it seems like there is a big push on #bodypositivity. And hey, I’m all for that. Different shapes and sizes shouldn’t be ridiculed in public just because it does not conform to the norm. What I’m against are social media influencers who are pushing for body positivity but live an unhealthy lifestyle. May that be to starve yourself or eat ridiculous amounts of meals in one day.

I do not claim to be perfect because I am guilty when it comes to living an unhealthy lifestyle. I am not conscious of what I put in my body, but I just wish young girls who follow these influencers recognise whether something is healthy or unhealthy.

I am insecure about my weight and how I look but I do not want to be a part of a #bodypositive community just so I can justify my unhealthy lifestyle.

I wish that made sense.

Different societies view adulthood in various ways. It could be when you hit the legal age of 18 or 21, when you finish high school or any further studies or even when you start working more frequently and constantly. At the end of all, we grow up and enter the phrase of our lives called adulthood.

As a child, but I most especially felt this way when I was a teenager, I wanted to “grow up”. I wanted to do “adult things” without having my parents nagging at me. When I was younger I felt constrained because I wasn’t as “free” as to how I perceived adults were.

It was tough.

Or so, that’s what I thought. As a naïve child, I thought to be an adult meant you can live your own life, which still holds true, however, there is more to it than being free from your parents’ constant nagging and of course, adults treating you like a kid.

I am guilty of this.

Like how adults talked to me like I barely knew anything, that is how I communicate with a family friend who is 8 year my junior. The thing is, most teenagers think they know better. They think that their level of maturity is nearly on par as adults, which isn’t the case. As you add on to your years of living, you realise and regret some of the decisions you make when you were younger. I, too, am going through that stage and still am. I am not claiming to be this all-knowing adult, I’m just saying that when you think you can handle yourself and know it all, think again.

So, why does adulthood suck, in my opinion?

You. are. not. as. free. as. you. think.

Yes, drive yourself, stay out late, order alcohol and do whatever legal age stuff there is to do BUT you also have to cope with adult responsibilities. Who knew calling up banks, doctor or dental clinics or telco companies, to fix your plan, can be so scary. I always had my parents do it for me and for that, I am quite privileged. However, menial tasks such as those, scared me to death when I first started doing it, till now my heart thumps when I call for assistance. It does come with experience.

Additionally, as an adult, society is less forgiving when you dumb things. When you’re young, you can get away with anything stupid because “adults” would always just dismiss it as a “dumb teenager” thing to do. But as an adult, you are held accountable sometimes for your actions. There is less of the mentality of you changing hence a lesser probability of being given a “second” chance – when you do something publicly inappropriate or unaccepted.

As adults get older, the less dependent you are on your parents or carers, except for some rare cases wherein the son or daughter is in need of assistance, i.e. severe disability. But for most adults, you start becoming independent. Transitioning is not easy, some are pushed to transition earlier than others due to financial need or just wanting to be independent earlier.

At the end of the day, I wish I was able to enjoy having fewer responsibilities, as a child, rather than wishing back then that I grow up already so I can be independent. Nothing bad about it, I suppose, but it’s not as easy as it seems.