Thursday, May 28, 2009

Here, There be Monsters

My mates at the Great Place have gotten used to calling someone Monster.  I'm not really sure who gave that label, but somehow, it stuck.  Now, the name has become commonplace in cryptic talks.  I'm not one to play blameless with regard this;  I have much too much experience labeling people, but still, I try to refrain from using the label as much as possible.  It is one thing to ride with them when they use the code name, and another thing, if I relent and start using it myself.  It is rather fun, I must admit, but it is unfair, and truthfully, uncalled for.

Thinking further on this, it seems that somehow, at every point in one's life, there is this someone that would inevitably be called Monster.  My earliest recollection of a monster was when I was in Grade Four.  Back then, she wasn't even given the dignity of the english term, she was simply called Halimaw, able to terrorize any and all students with her stare.  I remember one time that I was asked to recite, it was all I could do to keep standing.  I was near the back of the class, but her stare was penetrating and deathly, that I was already reeling, my vision fading, and my world spinning.  Her rising voice just made matters worse; I can no longer think cohesively; only discordant words were reaching my slowly darkenning world.  Colorful words and phrases, most notably bugok na itlog (rotten egg) and gunggong (dummy).  I might have fainted somewhere during her tirade, I'm no longer sure.

My next monster was during Freshman High school.  She wasn't really a monster, but rather, a real character.  We called her Ipish -- cockroach, with the deliberate "h" in the end, to make that "sh" sound.  We are fond of taking advantage of any deficiency, especially in speech.  We revel in it.  She was christened Ipish, by the way, because of her fondness for eating mentos, which we used to call moth balls.

My fondest monster was in Third Year high school.  Our adviser at the time was pregnant, and was prone to lashing out on us when we are getting out of hand.  She once almost updended her desk in rage, the desk tipping upon the table of the student in front of her, while she, unmindful of the student's shock, stood up and gave us a long sermon on how we were such unruly, uncouth and unrefined students, with no regard for women, especially pregnant women.  Which was true.  She taught us English -- English Literature to be exact.  Unfortunately for her, she taught us the epic of Beowulf, so we called her Grendel.

Only after a couple of years after graduation did I appreciate the gravity of the labels we made.  I visited my alma mater one time and got into a conversation with my former adviser.  She was incensed at a student of her's, and it was getting hard for her to hide her irritation.  Unable to contain it, she recounted to me how a student of her's had the temerity to write a report paper submitted to Mrs Grendel I------.  When she confronted said student, it was found out that the student honestly thought that that was her first name.  I did not have the heart to tell my former adviser that it was us who coined the name three years prior to the incident.  No one expected the name to stick that strong and that long.

I honestly thought the labels have died in high school, until the Great Place suddenly errupted into the business of labeling.  The monsters have returned, and somehow, everything feels like high school once more.


  1. nice post. i too have my own experience of monsters. particularly with politicians who are hungry for power and money. definitely the greatest monsters that we have in the country.

  2. @ Dong: Thanks, Dom! Oo nga, ibang level of monsters ang naghahari sa Philippine Politics. Buti na lang at hindi ko sila masyadong na e-encounter.

  3. hahaha! i had so much reading this! very funny. it reminded me of the labels i used to call my classmates, esp my best bud, keiv. we used to call him Gollum because of his big eyes and scary stare! Some of my classmates even made a fs account of him with Gollum as the primary pic. :P but it's all for fun i guess, but not for Mrs. Grendel I'm sure. hehe!

    [Sometimes, fact and fiction no longer have a clear boundary for the author.] i totally agree with this one. most of my posts are fiction but the essence is totally based on persona; experiences...

    really? hindi umulan dyan for two weeks. ang lakas ng ulan dito sa laguna. it's actually raining when i wrote this post. emo kasi ako kapag naulan. hehehe!

    wala ng katapusan ang usapang scandal esp. on TV. ang latest binuhusan si hayden ng tubig while on hearing. i find it preposterous really given they're on court.

    anyway, it's my first time to read a book by gabriel marquez. it's very poetic. kaya lang hindi divided sa chapters kaya medyo nabobore ako..hehe!


  4. @ Lucas: With labels, it's all fun and games, until someone loses an eye. The problem is, pag authority figures ang binigyan ng labels, there is a hint of malice in it, and it is rather demeaning.

    When peers give each other labels, it is mostly for fun. You wouldn't believe the names my friends and I have coined for each other! LOL at Gollum! I hope he isn't given to eating raw fish. Haha!

    Yeah, sobrang init dito sa Makati lately. Umulan a few nights ago, but it only made matters worse, kasi sumingaw lang ang lupa. Mas mainit tuloy nung huminto ang ulan.

  5. yun ang nakakainis sa ulan minsan. bitin na, mas pinaiinit pa lalo ang panahon. hays...

    i totally agree. during our sophomore year we labeled our biology teacher "keroppi" because she somewhat resembled a frog. hehe! but i love her. she was actually my fave professor back in HS. she knows the label students gave were giving her but she has a very good way of ignoring it.

    ang haba talaga. pansin ko nga ang liit maxado ng fonts. pansin ko sumasakit ang ulo ko while reading it. may eye problem na yata ako. i need eyeglasses! hehe!

    yeah... very out of hand. may nagtext din sakin na nagsuicide na daw si was a joke. it was not funny really.

    hehe! you're a good writer, honestly. Peace out!

  6. old habits die hard. especially bad ones.

  7. @ Lucas: Yung ulan lateley, hindi na bitin, pero bumabaha na naman dito sa amin. Hahahaha!

    Magpatingin ka na ng mata, mahirap ang eye problems, lalo na sa taong mahilig magbasa.

    Thanks, Ron.


    @ Victor: Hey! You've been gone for quite a long time, welcome back! Yeah, you're right, old habits are really hard to erase.

  8. oo nga eh. kaya kapag may get-together talaga, pinipilit kong makapunta kahit hapit. hehe!

    ahh...nag-abroad na pala sila. kaw? no plans of going abroad?

    nako bumabaha na nga rin dito eh. buhos kung buhos! hehehe! iniisip ko nga na mag-eyeglasses kaya lang nagmumukha akong lolo. ayoko naman mag-contacts. hehe!

    Thanks, again...Cheers to us finding that shoe! hahaha!

  9. We all have our own monsters. In fact, I am through with my tenth monster! But I am not yet finished with college so I might stuble upon another ogre someday. (++,)


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