1. I felt insignificantly a nobody when I was in college living with my fair, beautiful, intelligent, smart and rich cousins in Manila. Don't get me wrong, they were good and nice; it just so happened that I was in no comparison to them physically, financially and whatsoever, even the slightest of talents. haha! Imagine, I was even once erroneously mistaken to be their maid by an affiliated kin. Hahaha!.
An earlier incident during my first trip to Manila as a 13 year old on vacation.... I went with my cousins to a birthday party of one of their godmothers. We went into a unit of a long row of apartments somewhere in downtown Manila. It was not a very big party but the celebration was intimate. The godmother was a pretty upcoming commercial model. Although my cousin Adele properly introduced me as her cousin, I was however ridiculed when somebody asked "Who is this girl?" One joking answer came "kepia" as in neighbor. They joked about me. "Is she kepak or kepia" (cousin or neighbor) and they laughed boisterously at the joke as though I didn't understand a single Chinese word they were speaking.
2. And as I recall, there was this important person in my uncle's office who never acknowledged my insignificant presence every time I visited my sister Theng who was working for my uncle Fernando. This guy was a nice person, a good employee. He was gregarious to everybody except he treated me like an invisible cloak. Sadly, I guess he did not even get to remember this poor little dark girl among sweet pretty Nelly, Adele and Marlin until he died.
3. In college, I also felt inferior among classmates who came from big and other exclusive girl schools in Manila.They speak perfect English. They were very friendly, very pretty and had good grades. I shifted course though from that honors class. I knew I wasn't good enough.
4. When my mother died and I decided to stay home in Cotabato, I felt lonely among cheery friends during my Catholic youth days. They were a peer group which I tried to belong. They however outcasted me from their circle immediately after I got married.
5. When I got married, I joined in my husband's family social group. I was a misfit I guess. Sometimes I would be left alone in an empty row while people transfered and get seated with rich and popular personalities. Other times I would try to take a vacant seat in a crowded room, but certain groups would tell me that the seat was already taken and or reserved for another person. Going to a party then, I would always tell my husband not to leave me until I was seated.
But for all these times, I have already gotten used to my insignificant self.
And because I have a memory like an elephant and I have seen people who are better and kind, I tried to improve myself in all aspects: physically, academically, socially, religiously etc. And because of it, I think I have become a better person today. Now a day, I feel embarrassed when people accost me with the slightest importance. I have to look back from my shoulder.... I have to keep on remembering.......not because I want to be somebody, but because I want to be a better and kinder person.