I’ve noticed that alot of the people who read this were pointed this way by other blogs that posted the original screencaps which were murder on the eyes.
That was part of my original intent as well: to facilitate the reading of Tracy’s notes but – and this is important – I labored on this transcription also because I felt that there was a lot to be learned from her writing. Which is why after reading this – or before – take the time to read about Tracy’s travails where I try to put everything in perspective.
As always, everyone is free to come to their own conclusions, but let’s at least try to see the thing from all possible angles. That would only be fair.
And no, it doesn’t matter if you felt that she wasn’t fair in her blog. Our fairness should never be contingent on how fair others are.
Tracy Isabel Borres’s Notes
I am NEVER doing that EVER AGAIN!
Sun 11:32 pm
I owe so many people stories about my weekend so I figured, instead of having to keep on retelling this, remembering my last 3 days, I should just …
OhmyGod, that was the most miserable weekend of my life.
Week before immersion
-Naive silly girl thought going to live with the Aeta’s (sic) would be an adventure.
-Daddy wasn’t so happy with the idea.
+Lectured me about how I should avoid talking about politics when I was there (Uhm… why the hell would I do that?! With the Aetas?! What the hell …) and how to act if I came across the NPA.
+he kept bugging me to pack his Swiss knife. Actually HOVERED until I put it inside my bad (sic) when I was packing. Jesus.
+Mother dear was SLIGHTLY better.
+No annoying ridiculous lectures BUT she brought me to my doctor and insisted that I have all my shots practically all in one go. So yeah. I’m now immune to everything from MNR to Typhoid to all the Hepas. The only vaccine that wasn’t given was the HPV one because I really don’t think I can get cervical cancer from indigenous interaction.
- Arrived an hour and a half late drunk as hell HAHAHA
+I still managed to somehow remember unpleasant things to take note of, such as how … I don’t what it was that we weren’t supposed to do but it involved something like unintentionally giving these signals that Hey! I want to marry you! WTF WTF WT. It was like Holy Week in SUbic again when I glamorized wanting to go to a strip club thinking it would be something like the movie Closer, but as we were driving near the strip joints I was slowly realizing thow ugly everything was. I got seriously scared.
-Did not sleep AT ALL because I was too freaked and for the longest time I was just seriously curled up in a ball in my bed to condition my mind to survive the ugliness. (I sent freaked messages to CAN.)
-Only started to pack past midnight.
+Ehe! Thank you Risa but I used your picture in the Theo book as my reference as to what to wear, what bag to bring, and how big the bag could be. Heehee!
+@ hours bus ride
+2 more hours or so in a ‘special’ jeepney that can drive through the lahar and cross rivers.
+approx. 30 minute hike STRAIGHT UP the mountain. Surprisingly the hike wasn’t that long nor was it that difficult. It wasn’t a Patag Yoga Experience and I didn’t have Dudie, Mark, nor Paolo to hold my hand and keep from dying but thank God I didn’t see any snakes.
-Finally up there ….
+Our OSCI person Dudj announced that each one of us will be living in his/her adopted Aeta family.
*Translation: I WAS GOING TO BE ALONE WITH A RANDOM AETA FAMILY.
*Better Translation: OHMYGOD I’M IN HELL.
+No proper plumbing. I did NOT bathe AT ALL during my entire stay there! I kept my hair up and would only sponge my arms and legs and then constantly re-apply Off. Besides! How could I have bathed when we weren’t even allowed to take off our clothes? I’m sorry if I equaste taking a bath with nudity!!!
+THERE WERE SO MANY CHILDREN!!!Seriously!These people have no concept of family planning whatsoever! Even worse, SO MANY DIRTY KADIRI CHILDREN!!! Like in my family, I had this killer horror little Aeta boy with constant UHOG in either only red shorts or an oversized shirt with NOTHING UNDER who was CONSTANTLY WARBLING TO HIMSELF OR SINGING WITH A SIBAT!!! OH.MY.FUCKING.GOD. All the kids there were either coughing, wet with their sipon, with SORE eyes, some gross thing in their eyes or some festering wound or unsightly skin thingy!!! @#^!@%@$!!! I seriously did NOT WANT ANY OF THEM TOUCHING ME.
-I think I got sort of hit on by a drunk Aeta??
+______, WTF, IKR. Anyway, story is, I was lounging outside with my sister and her friends and there was this guy there too. I had no clue as to what they were saying but occasionally the creepy guy would ask me questions and they would all laugh. Lalala I wasn’t paying much attention but then I started to hear my sister, her friends, and the guy start to bicker. My sister would say “Sige sabihin mo nga sa kanya sa Tagalog!” then he would say “Ikaw! Sabihin mo sa kanya!” Then my sister would tell me “Sila ang wag mong pakinggan! Wag ka maniniwala sa kanila.Until my sister and friends told me “Alis na tayo ate! Lasing sya!: and when I asked what he was saying they were like “Uhh … mabait ka daw ate. (giggle) Wag ka nalang maniwala sa kanya.”
-Trek to where they farmed (Gasak)
+It was kind of funny because my sister ran back up the mountain to get the umbrella. So I was trekking the lahar with an umbrella. How very me. HAHAHA
+I fell asleep thrice on a rock while waiting for them to cook the rice and then the sigarilyas. OhmyGod I actually tried and now know what the hell sigarilyas in Bahay Kubo is. It tasted funny.
+There was this tiny lake-ish with tiny waterfalls and smart idea of mine I decided to try to take a bat there. So smart. It was freakin’ cold and Ic ould dip in deeper than my waist so i ended up walking back home with my DENIM PANTS and undies soaked. Good job me.
-Took a nap for not more than an hour when my sister woke me up to trek again, this time to the hot springs.
+OHMYGOD first semblance of actual civilization!!! The hot springs were in the middle of nowhere and walking through the lahar and crossing rivers that amusingly got hotter and hotter. The umbrella serve a dual purpose of not only protecting me from the sun but also shoving the plants away.
+It was this open developed pool-like area where the water of the springs were redirected. THERE WAS AN ACTUAL TOILET. I PEED FOR THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME. Oh thank God!!!
-By the end of the day my foot was over scrubbed with lahar and rocks. I swear they should market like a Lahar Body Scrub only with moisturizer.It was like grey sand.
+Fabulous idea of holding a community night!!! YAY!!! WOW!!! Yeah. Right. No electricity duh so there was this huge bonfire which only made me cough and hurt my eyes. But OH.GOD. My sister sat me down on some chair and CHILDREN STARTED TO FLOCK AROUND ME. They were all so close I tried so hard not to breathe deeply so I wouldn’t smell them. Plus IT WAS DARK SO GOD KNOWS IF THER ALL CLEAN OR NOT OH GOD.
+Also funny children … but the girls even Friday afternoon kept going near me trying to get me to talk.And whenever I would say something they would giggle and say “Ate maliit po boses nyoo, Parang ibon.” WTF … so that night while I was being suffocated by a flock children this girl goes “Ate taw ka nalang! Parang boses ni Dyesebel!” WTF WTF …
-Some sharing thing then I went back to the house and faked eating
+Did NOT AT ALL eat during the immersion. Like per meal I would only probably total half a spoonful of rice. But to make it seem to them that I was eating, I would smoosh the rice and push it to the edge of the plat to make it seem like there’s space where rice used to be and like mess it up with sabaw. I just couldn’t eat their food even if they don’t give me anything gross, mostly veggies. But everything made me barfy and even the rice tasted funny! So whatever food I stuffed in my mouth I would just hold my breath and swallow. I hated meal time because I always felt bad. Tatay would always tell me “Pasensya na blahblahblah” so I would keep insisting that I really don’t eat even in Manila but nanay’s cooking was really good… I felt really bad!!!
-I packed then slept again and by the time I woke up were about to leave so YAY! Tatay gave me bananas and papayas and talbos ng saging to bring home to Manila and for the last time my sister helped me down the mountain.
+Inside the jeepney a bunch of Aetas rode with us and TWO OF THE KIDS HAD SORE EYES!!! The mother carrying a baby with weird stuff in her eyes was squatting across me and SHE FREAKIN’ PICKED HER NOSE AND I SWEART TO GOD I THINK SHE BRUSHED HER FINGER AGAINST MY LEGGINGS. OH, FREAKIN’ LORD.
-So we finally reached McDonald’s and I soaped myself so many times and everyone I think knew that I was the one who had the hardest time and they all laughed when they saw my McDonald’s tray. I won’t mention everything that I ate because Meling might un-friend me.
+Some lolo selling whatever elbowed me in the face then chose to hover right beside me! I mean seriously, I love you lolo and I respect your livelihood but gawd! Can you please not count your money right next to me?!! Gawd lolo go hover somewhere else.
+Good for nothing bus did not drop us off directly at the station Cubao so I had to walk! Who knew that stupid papayas were so heavy?! Ugh.
-Mum and daddy picked me up and mum met me half-way while I was walking towards the car. First thing she said when she saw me? “OhmyGod!” Wow. Either I looked that ugly, miserable, or both. Then inside the car dad tried to joke and told me that I smelled like an Aeta and laughed. I said I know its disgusting and he shut up. I was so in grumpy child mode.
-I don’t think I ever loved the shower that much … I shampooed and scrubbed my hair and my body until they hurt … apricot scrubbed myself … totally over perfumed. Hygiene I love you. And I just had a two hour full body massage while listening to a mix of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Kings of Convenience and Postal Service. Music FINALLY.
Seriously though, the only thing that kep me sane was the really pretty view being on top of a cliff and all and how everything was so airy and spacious. Life there is so monotonous and droll and time was soooo sloooow, but so weird I got kind of jealous at how simply happy they were. I was jealous at how uncomplicated everything there was. (Yeah, yeah I realized a couple of things but that’s reserved for my actual reflection paper because that’s not what you guys are after haha) But honestly sorry St. Ignatius, I was NOT immersed. If anything, the trip was like a test of true patience for me and how well I could mentally block everything. Like aside from being the girl in our group who is known for her amazing bladder and colon control skills, I’m like also the girl who can keep sleeping anywhere and everywhere. It was like my spacing-out skills at its finest.
Ugh. I swear though. Ive developed like penis fear (my parents should be so thankful) from all the naked dirty children. And if for the next couple of days I see children, even cute white ones, I swear I will kick them. Same goes for animals. Not even my potential fluffy bunny. Or if I hear some dialect (no offence Marc and Dianne I loff you!!!), I will throw a hissy fit.
P.S. Fuck you Niche and Sib! I’M NOT PREGNANT KNOCKED UP CARRYING AN INDIGENOUS OFFSPRING!
Gawd. I’m so glad to be back home. Hug me. =(