Posted by: Jae | March 15, 2007

To my cousin, on her prom night

After several weekends spent with you at the mall in my capacity as head (and only member) of your one-person Prom Committee, after all the eye-rolling, the hissy fits, the dress rehearsals, the giggles at the dressing room, the shopping for accessories, the helping-you-whine-to-your-parents, I wasnt really expecting to be surprised at our “final product”. But you, pretty girl, still managed to take my breath away. And as I look at you now — stick-on bra, soft curls and all– I wonder, are you ready for the world?

Listen to me, pretty girl, and listen hard. Just seven things that I wish someone had told me back then.

First. If you are to live fully and dance exuberantly, you must be prepared to trip every so often. Some of them will be ugly falls — gaping wounds, blood all over, the whole nine yards. In one of those falls, you will cry like you have never cried before. But you will be ok. And you will be able to dance again.

Second. Know the difference between spontaneous and reckless. Spontaneous is going to Tagaytay on a motorcycle with someone for a daytrip. Reckless is forgetting to wear a helmet, and deciding to spend the night. Spontaneous is cutting class. Reckless is skipping an exam. Spontaneous is one too many margaritas. Reckless is one too many margaritas and one bad boy.

Third. love your girlfriends (and gay friends).Because on Saturday nights when you want to wear your pointy fuck-me shoes and goddess earrings and strut your stuff, they’ll be there, shimmying with you. And on Tuesday afternoons when you feel like going to the UP chapel to bawl your heart out, theyll wait for you outside, give you as much time as you need, and then eat fishball and isaw with you while listening to you whine some more.

Fourth. Temper “fun fearless female” with “nice gracous girl” sometimes. This whole cosmo culture has conditioned us to believe that being a bitch will get us what we want — and to where we want to go — faster and that kindness is weakness. Open your soul and let the sunshine in. There’s just too little real goodwill going around.

Fifth. Change whatever you want about how you look, but don’t change your skin color. Consider it an extension of your glorious heritage, your rich culture. Brown is beautiful, don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. Besides, pasty-white looks gross on young girls and pasty-white is what you’ll get with all those skin whiteners.

Sixth. Define your spirituality according to your own terms. Community worship sometimes makes me claustrophobic. I pray everyday in the silence of my room, trusting that I have a God who listens. Nurture your faith in a manner that keeps you grounded, connected to the universe, and safe and sound at night.

Seventh. Drink ten glasses of water a day. ๐Ÿ™‚



  1. Ang galing naman ni ‘Insan, ‘kaka-touch!

    Sana sumulat din siya ng ‘To my Ate cousin, on her 27th birthday’!

    How I wish….We might be missing or forgetting to see life from the eyes of teens.

    Advance happy birthday, Jae! Iinom mo na lang ako — 10 glasses of vodka! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. 7 things people failed to tell you but u have managed to move your way through the muck beautifully anyway, albeit with the inevitable, acceptable scratches, but still complete. My prom wish for your cousin is to enjoy and remember –while my birthday message to you is the same all these years: i love you and you are beautiful, with or without olay total effects – inside and out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy birthday!!!

    (defensive)Qualifier: Jae and i are not lesbian lovers though we use to keep each other’s pictures in our wallets and gave each other flowers at one point. We just call it friendship. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. wow… sana gawan din ako ni jae ng dedication… hahaha

    and what’s this about loving only girlfriends and (gay friends). well i don’t see myself as “shimmying”, but i know we are also capable of waiting and listening.

    i like the sixth.

  4. Bonn: Salamat sa birthday greeting. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kaso di ko ata kaya ang ten glasses of vodka. Hehe.

    Jordan: We are, unfortunately, too uncool to be lesbian lovers. Wahahaha. Thank you so much for that beautiful message. If ive managed to navigate my way with beauty and grace, its because i have the greatest friends to help me along. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Chrisgel: You are perfectly right. Kulang nga ang acknowledgement ng lipunan sa platonic male friend. Pero lagi naman siyang nariyan, inuman man yan o iyakan. I have a number of platonic male friends myself, and theyve been such great and patient and loving people to me. Ma-blog nga yan minsan. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. i didn’t see it fit to contaminate your recent blog with my happy birthday greeting… so i’ll do it here…

    happy birthday jae! (belated na dapat pero sabi mo naman di pa tapos e…) hehehe

  6. I like this one Jae.

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