After years and years of assuming that I’ll get a chance to fly off to the Philippines, I began to avoid the thought of going there for a visit. Going home didn’t appeal me anymore. In fact, I avoided going home. I couldn’t go home, simply because I thought I’m not ready.
Ready for what?
People back home (and so is the rest of the Asian countries) admire the more skinnier and the more petite-sized women. Filipinos abhor women who are heavier than 100 lbs (50 kilos for yeh metric users!). They notice and criticize women who have big (average!) arms, thicker thighs (like Beyonce’s) and you know… the sexy type of women who Westerners find more appealing. I personally love the fact that here in America, men favor more women who aren’t THAT skinny (as in skin and bones). This is probably the reason why I didn’t want to go home because of the mere fact that I’ll be criticized:
“Oi! Khristine! Wow… tumaba ka yata ha?!”
(Hey Khristine! Wow… it looks like you gained weight?!)
“Ganyan siguro ang taga-America no? Napabayaan sa kusina?”
(That’s probably how people in America turn out to be: They are left in the kitchen [munching]?)
It’s pure injustice, I swear. I hate it. I mean, honestly, I am not THAT huge. I am 5’2 and I weigh 135 lbs. (do your own metric conversion lol). In the Western standards, I am “average” and considered as petite. However, back in my country, I’m on the “large” range.
So, you’re probably thinking, why are you so concerned of your weight if you think you’re normal? I don’t know. I feel like I’m insecure and a little scared that I’m going to a place that I used to call “home” and now, I have this feeling that I might not really belong there anymore. I met and “tried” to have Filipino friends here in the States, but I couldn’t somehow establish that friendship or that simple connection with them. I usually feel as if I can’t relate to their jokes and I have a hard time understanding their deeper Tagalog words. Often times, I feel that they are too “clingy” and they pry on people’s business too much: two things I despise the most!
Despite my irrational fears, I have to go home. Simply because healthcare is so much cheaper in the Philippines. I need to have the “bump” on my left breast removed and the cell growth found on my cervix needs to be checked. Both organs which will be taken with tests and a surgery will cost probably around ($30,000 in the US or more) 3000 pesos which is $73.00. Yeah, as much as I love living here in the States and how much I love the people here, I hate the American healthcare system. We pay so much taxes, but we can’t afford the healthcare costs (that’s another topic to rant about. But seriously though, in America: a doctor’s fee + lab fee + surgical operation + hospitalization + medication = A HUGE 5-FIGURE DEBT: CRAZYYYY!)
I wouldn’t go home right now even when Ricky’s not coming. America is my home now and I couldn’t simply go home even if it’s just a week. I want to bring Ricky because he reminds me that I’m loved and I have another ‘home’ to come back to. He is my reality. I feel like if I go home, all of what I remember is based on my memories. As Ricky would say, “You’ll feel like you’re in a dreamy state.” And I might feel that way, that’s why I need Ricky to validate that I’m in a better place now and there’s nothing to fear. I shouldn’t feel insecure simply because I am beautiful and someone believes that.
There are too much problems there, I wish, I can bring my Ricky with me and make me stronger. Oh well… maybe next time!
Really, though… I think the best way to overcome this irrational fear is to simply start standing up for myself: something I haven’t done, before I came here in America. Who cares if people think I gained weight? Hey, it’s America! I can afford to buy a pack of [American] chocolates, something that Filipinos back home could not afford. So what if people think I look and act different? Time passed and people change. I grew up. Who cares if people think I’m ‘mayabang‘(prideful)? Of course, I have pride because I know people back home will start criticizing me from head to feet. All I know is, I’ve struggled so much that I deserve every pride I have in me. They don’t know how difficult it is to start off in America. They don’t, so they have no right to undermine me. I won’t take negativity. I won’t take anybody’s CRAP.
So yeah, I will rise above my fear because I know, I AM BEAUTIFUL and I EARN EVERY BIT OF RESPECT. So people back home, I’m ready.