'She adored New York City. Â She idolized it all out of proportion.Â Yes.Â To her, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes …
"From Having Traumas To Having A Story Worth Telling"
(by Grace Eclavea’s nostalgic and emotional self. Okay sobrang daming hugot nito…)
My words feel intimidated to describe this brave, young world changer, and how she made me feel. She, being the one who I used to comfort when she cries, now made me cry because of this blog post she wonderfully composed.
My writing styles and techniques can’t just find their way to chase those perfect words to say how much she is worth admiring. And moreover, how much this blog post was moving.
It made my memories flash back before my eyes, so vivid, like a movie. My Highschool Life. Especially that it’s March and that I always love to reminisce.
Styles might just interfere with emotions and the way they
want to be expressed, for at times, the way we want to express them is NOT they way they want to be released.
So maybe it’s best to be straightforward.
Her name is Steph. Also a teenager. A promising world changer.
She’s someone I met through my inbox, months ago. She told me that my story inspired her to bring back her faith to its burning state. If you read my blog regularly, my answers were published publicly, so you’d see that watch-your-steph tumblr asked me some questions before. Questions and comments that really touched me. Questions that made me dig my history.
I have always felt like she was my Tumblr Little Sister.
We haven’t met yet, but we share the same story—being a victim of bullying almost forever despite of having still-imperfect BUT good-and-genuine hearts which our true friends and God Himself, have always witnessed.
As we grew up, we faced so many PROBLEMS, STORMS, AND EMOTIONAL BREAKDOWNS IN THE PAST due to injustices, discrimination and conspiracies. We’ve had trials you’ld only see in novels, or movies, or TV series. Like Mean Girls or Easy A.
We’re normal students like everyone else, we fail and succeed at times, but we do NOT have normal stories. We’ve undergone some things that thirteen year old’s don’t usually get in a classroom setting.
For every one million students, I bet there’s only 3 like us. Sorry this sounds proud. And this post can be really annoying, especially when you’re among the blind items who will never get named anyway. But hello, freedom of expression. (Ang dami ko talagang hugot ngayon. Haha.)
We have had the same suicidal thoughts, only that, she listened to Him when He said “Stop, my Child.” While here I was, I attempted twice when I was clinically depressed last year (which caused my Leave of Absence. More on this story in my from-depression-to-recovery blog
We also share the same faith in Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.
Yes, we have never met, but we have exchanged long Tumblr messages telling each other about our stories. I remember when I was cheering her up, telling her not to give up..
Because God has great great plans for her, Plans to prosper her and not to harm her. Plans to give her hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)
And that, it is just darkest before dawn.
True enough, as always, God proved to be faithful. She just faced the new chapter in her life now at somewhere new, where all her past traumas are complete strangers.
It took me some time before I was able to read all her new messages, and wow, a while ago, God led me through her blog. I used to look at her Tumblr because I was so concerned if she was still feeling the same. She used to reblog depression and emo posts before, which burdened me to send her continuous encouragements. She has that strong potential which she wasn’t able to see before.
A while ago, however, I SAW A LITTLE LINK ON HER BLOG.
It says, “blog”
I was like, Oh my gosh she has another blooooog!
When I saw it, wow, it says “PRETTY LITTLE DREAMER” I was so happy for her because usually people who suffered from depression don’t just gain that power to dream again.
For the first time, I stalked her. Wow, she loves fashion, too! And photographs. And music. And coffee! Hooray.
I checked her bio. Turns out, we share the same inner reality—unicorns, fairies, idealism…We’re both writers and fangirls, too. Though she’s the only Book Butterfly :3
AND WE’RE BOTH LIBRA!
But these hit me the most.
"I’m emotional. I tend to over analyze things too much. I use my brain but when it comes to affairs of the heart, it completely shuts down."
"I’m also a survivor of the cruel world we call High School."
I almost wanted to cry. Me, either, Tumblr Little Sister.
Though I choose to say that my High School Life was so movie worthy, it’s actually because it has had its epic joys and epic sadness.
My High School History (Few Glimpses)
(Skip if you want to read my reaction to her inspiring post already)
My second year in Legacy of Wisdom Academy of Dasmarinas was very memorable, but I was bullied for months at first (as a transferee) because I immediately became the Top 1 and I was the teacher’s whistle blower when it comes to the usual high school cheating culture. (no pride intended, just stating the facts)
I remember always running to Ma’am Nanz, the school Principal for her to give me a plastic bag because I was having serious asthma attacks due to occasional emotional breakdowns. Oh yes, I always had the heart which I describe as good and genuine and desires the best for her lovedones, but I was always aware that I have attitude problems and childish acts. I had the worst temper in the world.
But months after, we became close and good friends already. Yey. LWAD gave me more opportunities to deal with different kinds of people and to know myself better and to share myself to the world with confidence. Second Year Justice was a good family after all. Everything I went through were just periods of adjustments. I love Legacy, though I only spent nine months there (because I transferred at exactly July 1, 2008 due to let me call it “academic and social and spiritual emergency”) I consider it to be the Second Best School I have ever been to. (I have been in 6 before I entered UPLB)
THEN, THIRD YEAR AND FOURTH YEAR CAME,
AND GOD MADE ME RISE UP TO THE FULLEST EXTENT THAT MY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT SELF CAN BE.
Holy Redeemer School of Dasmarinas, Cavite was the best thing that happened to my life
as a pre-college student. Being a Redeemian gave me the foundation to being the World Changer UPLB student that I am now.
Though, I was still bullied when I was a transferee. Same reason: I beat the resident Top 1 since KINDER -_- And I’m like, when will this issue ever leeeeave me. I’m tired of parents going to the Principal’s Office complaining about my surname
"Sino yang Eclavea na yan at naging Top 1 agad e transferee? E ang galing galing ng apo ko top 1 mula pagkabata a????"
Being the confrontational person that I always were, I was always frank to my classmates who raise an eyebrow whenever I give oral reports or recite in class. My accent, maybe due to English being my mother tongue (first language) always cause “parinigs” and “bulungans” and “class-codes” I was such a laughing stock. And so, I always looked like the arrogant and the bad one. When the truth was, I was always the one real enough even when teachers are around. (Thankfully, when this girl and I became classmates again in the Star Section the following year, we became close and we’re even in the same “tropa” or clique.)
Fast forward (third year life), God intervened, and I managed to be the Top 1 throughout the end of my junior year, not only to 3B PM but among the six sections of the whole third year class. God is always a God of Justice. I also had acquaintances from ALL OVER THE SCHOOL from Grade 1 to my seniors. YES. From Grade 1. Na ngayon ay Grade 4 na. A proof that I wasn’t necessarily an unlikable person. I was always the crowd’s favorite. Though maybe 10% of them were my haters. LOL. Seriously though, I was always within ANYONE’S reach. I never let my top or my Champion titles get in the way of connecting with potential lifetime friends, whatever their status, or top, or religion is. For I believe that friends are the real trophies in life. Certificates can’t comfort you when you’re down or can shout for you when you receive another one of their like; it is your barkada that cries and laughs with you. I was always confident and ready to conquer the world but I remained humble, as they said. (Though I am tempted to be proud when I am insulted)
But the main reason why Steph’s line, “I’m also a survivor of the cruel world we call High School.” really made me cry figuratively was this:
MY FRESHMAN YEAR.
Spell anything no student would want to undergo to.
In a random set of words, here’s what happened: underground bullying, stolen books, conspiracy incidents, “bestfriend” betrayal, tipping point, personal academic competition, rumors against me, me breaking down now and then, three lost book frame ups, my parents frequenting the Principal’s Office, the whole first year class confrontation at the same office by January (20, I guess) 2008 with my parents and one of my classmates’ parents. And the biased adviser. Lastly, ACADEMIC INJUSTICE.
My grades, which I worked hard for, were stolen from me.
My Dad had proof; he always knew how to compute the grades. Oo na, competitive kami e. But there was never anything personal on our side. It’s just that, my parents raised me up to be someone BRAVE enough to FIGHT for my rights, because I cannot stand up for the voiceless if I can’t EVEN defend my own voice.
If I was REALLY the Top 2, so be it. Let it be. Kahit Top 10 pa nga or kahit WALA e. Basta ba everything was done out of honesty. OUT OF INTEGRITY. :) No politics, no bias.
(Disclaimer: I have forgiven ALL of the people involved here, I am just making a point in this post. In fact, I am acquaintances with them already as of now and we’re in good terms. (Though there never was a formal closure and admission from the people involved. It’s just that time passed and we decided to move on.) And should they read this, this post shouldn’t change that because they themselves know the truth, if not directly, then definitely they know it subconsciously. And this wasn’t done to malign their names, but to help the people who are currently undergoing the same. We’re okay now—God is a god of Reconciliation :D )
In my 12 years in school spent in 6 different campuses before entering UPLB, there’s this one student who beat me. His name is Kim Almer Frani. We were in Grade 1 back then at Logos Christian Academy.
Yet, we were always in good terms. Because HE DID NOT BULLY ME TO GET THE TOP SPOT. He didn’t steal my books. He didn’t tell my classmates to ignore me or raise eyebrows against me or make “parinigs.” He was always honest. No need to tell the teachers some lies about me. No need for fake tears. No need for feigning “kawawaness.” No need for framing me up so that people would think that I was the bad girl.
I was Kim Almer’s Top 2 but guess what I was still supportive of him. And yes, I vividly remember moments ever since I was Kinder. Photographic memory, it is. This I think is my best defense against the bullies. I can always write books about them and about overcoming people like them even when I turn fifty.
But going back to my high school history, there it was. The always-loving principal then said, after we presented the evidence of tampered grades with five teachers involved, she said
"Wag na po kayo magreklamo sa DepEd, Mr. and Mrs. Eclavea, parang awa niyo na po, bawiin na lang ni Grace next year, mas magaling naman po talaga siya.
So for the first month, I was still in that Science High School. But no, June pa lang, I saw signs of planned conspiracy again to hinder me from being the Top 1—eh I need that because we don’t have money to pay the tuition fee every year.
There was this class wherein a professor made a beauty pageant on the spot. He was asking for volunteers. Of course, I was the first one to raise my hand. Every class was an opportunity to defend what was stolen from me. GUESS WHAT? He chose three people. Who did not even volunteer. Turns out, it would be a BIG PART OF THE GRADE.
I disappeared. My family needed a new environment. The rumors of Academic Year 2007-2008 were successful enough for some parents to talk negatively about my name and my family name—that we were just bitter, and that I have always been undeserving. Yes—it’s a school which I bet teaches COMPETITIVENESS above any other value. Every quarter, exam topnotchers are posted downstairs for the world to see. I loved it—I was sanguine ever since. (Gets?) (SangMel though) It also promoted transparency. But before I got cheated, (March 27, 2008 was our Recognition Day) there were no postings already. Fishy things going on.
My family transferred to Salawag, and I studied at the school where my cousins used to study. Life was so much better though like what I said, there were periods of adjustment.
My last two years in highschool were the best. I finally found my dream school, yung maypanghapon (haha, di ko kaya whole day e i was never the person who wakes up early) may newspaper (it was always my goal to be an EIC, and God gave me that opportunity by 2011), nagJJS sa 5 star Hotels, laban ng laban sa interschool stuff, may seryosong CAT and rifle drills, MALAKI, SO THE COMPETITION IS TOUGHER, AND THEREFORE, MORE FUN. :3 May English Club pa.
I joined everything. Almost, I mean. Not because I wanted to steal all the spotlight—I was never that kind of person though I always loved my own share of the spotlight. But because, I don’t know why but God gave me a dozen gifts or more—and I didn’t want to waste any of them.
March 31, 2011 came, and God gave me impromptu words from the heart which I spoke for twenty seven minutes. *With tears* Longest Valedictory Address, maybe. But the students, parents, and even the Principal cried with me. It was my “Third Day”
It was my High School Life’s Easter Sunday. :’( It was VICTORY. It was,
finally, JUSTICE. Vindication. No need for DepEd. The successes God gave me were enough by themselves.
Victory not only because of medals, but because of REAL medals—LIFETIME FRIENDSHIPS.
In my private blogspot, I said last 2011, “Friends are the real trophies in life.” Indeed, they still are and they forever will be.
My highschool life was a roller coaster movie-worthy ride.
So yes, STEPH, weeee, appear! We both survived the cruel—but let me add the word “Wonderful”—world called High School.
The Post’s Impact, The College Life, The Recent Relevance
My college life was very colorful, until the tipping point made it black and white. I thought the crab mentality culture and dirty politics would leave me alone. Wrong. In UP, it was worse. UP is like a microcosm of the real world. Maybe every college campus is. Though I am not referring to maligned grades here, my professors always had integrity. I especially thank the two teachers who gave me two singko’s. I deserved them.
In fact, I needed those 5’s for my Character Building class in the school called life.
I don’t want to capitalize so much about the college “belittled moments” anymore, I think I have posted enough in the past and it was already concluded officially and formally last December 2013 with admission and apologies. I am now in good terms with the person. Thanks, God :) Though, the other upperclass who framed me up for losing 270 pesos last August 19, 2013 in our old apartment never admitted her lie. We’re not enemies now, but we just don’t exist in each other’s lives. (I WILL NOT NAME DROP, FUTURE ASKERS, EVEN IF WE’RE B1B2 CLOSE BUDDIES. )
Anyway, moving on, when you read Steph’s blog post, it’s about her bliss when she experienced New York Times Square. And I was almost there. :’(
We could have met. Awwww.
Dear Author of Moments, You write veeeery well. ;)
She migrated last February 15 I guess (based on my blog-stalking) I was in Harvard from February 17 to February 22, then missed my flight because I was always a procrastinator. Then God wrote moments for me in New York from 23 to 25. Then 26 to 28 in Jersey City. March, finally I’m back to my beloved Philippines.
She migrated to NEW JERSEY with her family. (Oh yes, after a series of depressing events and bullying incidents and worse problems na samin na lang) We really could have met. Sayang :3 Di bale, next time, we wil meet.
And hey, Tumblr Little Sister, when we meet, we will praise the Lord for bringing us where we are now. We will cry over our tear-jerking traumas in the past, but not out of sadness, but out of thanksgiving.
For God has entrusted us those kind of trials other students wouldn’t be able to bare (that’s why they were given another different kind of crisis, which baka tayo naman yung di rin maka-bare)
We both stopped our studies for a while due to depression and oh yes, financial stress. But, hey, when people pulled us down, GOD ALWAYS PULLED US UP.
We have testimonies to share to the world.
In the future, we will have bigger problems as we face the real world which has even DIRTIER POLITICS, but through His grace, which is always beyond sufficient, will keep us firm in the Word that we are standing up for.
We will make a difference. We were bullied for a reason.
WE HAVE TO VOICE OUT FOR THE VOICELESS.
Ladies and gentlemen, do you feel suicidal right now? Are you vicitms of bullying and conspiracies? Or maybe you’re one of the students cheated by some teachers with NOT A HINT of integrity and so you lost the grades you HONESTLY worked hard for? And yes, every year, thousands of students get traumatized by that. Yes, it also happens here in the Philippines. A lot. Private or Public. Nonsectarian or Christian. Many school have victimized such excellent students that threatened the Teacher’s Pet. I know a lot of stories. Many of my friends experienced the same.
The good thing is, we are all in UP now while all the ones favored over us FAILED THE UPCAT.
Whatever stage you are in your life now, whatever injustice is that, always remember, that Like A Bowing Arrow, God launches you for something big. REALLY BIG.
Look at Steph, she was so depressed before. She was always bullied (though I still don’t know what the reasons were) by some of the people around her. And just like me, she focused on them more than the people appreciating her.
But now, things are different.
Steph, you said my label fits me now— Grace 2.0
I tell you, Congratulations! STEPH, TWO POINT ZERO. :)
You are no longer the bullied. But of course, you can’t be the bully.
You will be the bullied’s lawyer. You will be Salt and Light to our needy negative world.
One day, you will share your story to the world. Every detail. From the past ruins to the glorious triumphs.
And yes, together, we’ll say to the world,
“IF YOU DREAM BIG, YOU WILL GET BIG.”
And so if you, dearly loved reader, is being pulled down right now. Whether be i n your family or in your classroom or in your workplace or in your affiliation,
You don’t have to take vengeance. It always belongs to God.
Crying to Daddy God is always better than complaining to Human Imperfect Authorities who are also colored with biases.
When you are pulled down?
The best revenge?
Then love your enemies. Love is what the world badly needs.
The Love, of your very Upholder, your Lawyer, Jesus Christ.