At times we have a motto that best reflects what happened in a part (or “slice”) of our life. It can either be something that changed how you handle situations or your train of thought. It can also be something that many people follow, like those found in many self-help books. Each and every one of us has mottoes, but I know this particular one you people have experienced. It goes:
“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
That simple but deep saying is what this post is all about. Sure, I could cite some examples supporting this saying, like the succeeding People Power movements that occurred in the Philippines, or the U.S. invasion of Vietnam and Iraq, and that question in an exam that you heard or saw before, pero di mo binigyan ng pansin na feeling mo di mo na siya makikita muli. But in a nutshell it’s all about me not learning from my past experiences with women. It seems I never really learn.
Singapore is petite, but not small. She has long black hair up to her forearms and has a faint moustache (like with Qatar, see Part 3). She has this cute smile and uncanny innocence that would make you want to talk to her (more on that later). Besides that she is from the same training class I’m in, me pumorma na rin sa kanya sa class namin before pero di sya sineryoso. She is the best friend ng niligawan ko before, si Bacolod (see previous post). She is also from Bacolod and also took the course of being a teacher.
Okay, okay, okay. Alam ko na kung anong sasabihin nyo sa akin. “Di ka pa ba natuto sa nangyari sa iyo dati nung Highschool?” or “Best friend nanaman ng niligawan mo before ang popormahan mo?” But hear me out. Let me tell you the rest of my story before you roll your eyes and stop reading this. Sipain ko kayo eh, malayo na nabasa nyo. Sayang naman yun.
Anyway, even before I was making my moves on Bacolod I already met Singapore then. She’s not really outspoken and talks softly. I guess probinsyanas are really shy (well, some of them anyway). She’s with us whenever I was able to walk Bacolod to their boarding house or when I gave her gifts. When I noticed that Bacolod doesn’t give a damn about me, my senses quickly set on Singapore. She’s the girly type, which I prefer. And she does have this purity that would make you sit up and notice. But I hesitated, because I’ve been on this situation before back in Highschool. I don’t want to be that guy na magmumukhang chickboy. I thought to myself, “Easy lang p’re, wag kang magmadali. Makipag-kaibigan ka muna sa kanya bago mo isipin na ligawan sya.” That time I really wanted to make sure that she will be the one that will say “YES” when I would ask her the question. So I got close to her first, which was pretty easy.
It was not difficult because even before we were promoted to a team we were already paired up when taking calls. I remember our trainer did that because I talked fast, while she talked slow. Our improvement on taking calls depended on one of our talking styles rubbing off on each other. We talked, but it was nothing special, because our conversation goes like this:
Me: Singapore, okay ka pa ba dyan?
Singapore: Okay lang.
Me: Baka pagod ka na ha.
Me: Sure ka ha?
Me: Sabihin mo lang ha, ako na bahala sa yo.
Yeah, I know, right? Sure, she’s not the most talkative person in the world, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least say something more than 2-3 syllables. I guess she’s the really, really, really shy type. Or I just have to get to know her more so she would open up. Feeling ko nasa loob yung kulo nya.
Luckily, I have my close friends (Air Man 2, Bone Guy and Smooth Guy. Again, read previous post) to teach me how. Besides the fact that they’re a little older than me (read: more experiences) and are certified Casanovas in their own right, they are willing to lend their advices on how to woo Singapore. One of their advices on me was that I need to cut down sa paglalandi sa mga babae sa office floor para di ako magmukhang manyak sa kanya. Before in Highschool and College I was a little uneducatedsa babae. Pero ngayon nung nagta-trabaho na ko, I quickly got exposed to all kinds of women. Before it was just FHM magazines, now well, it’s not constant visits to nightclubs or Beerhouses (although I did experience that) but it seems it was easier to talk to women now. I don’t know, maybe it’s because the women I’ve encountered there are outgoing and mature. I became used to talking to women that the ones that I became close with hinaharot ko, like niyayakap ko sila or kinukurot ko sa gilid. Some of them nagustuhan ko, at marami rin sila, mga 7. Tinuloy-tuloy ko lang yung paglalandi sa kanila at baka ma-develop. May isa na feeling ko may gusto rin sa akin pero di ako intersado masyado sa kanya. She’s too boyish and she’s not my type. There’s also this other girl na yung tipong “sana hinintay na nya ko, imbes na natyatyaga ka dyan sa boyfriend mo (cue the Parokya Ni Edgar song “Halaga”).” She was a little chubby and we really connected well. At times we would text and nagbibiruan kami. Pero hanggang dun lang yun. But if ever she would break up with her boyfriend, popormahan ko yun. Pero hindi eh. Oh well.
Then there was this one time that a working female College student from a different team became close to our male group that during times that she is all alone on a shift, where none of her teammates are there, she would sit near us or beside me. Man, she’s got really big knockers at pwede mong silipan sya. She doesn’t mind the stares because she’s like “one-of-the-boys”. She also often wears short skirt that one time I was talking to her and as a way of comforting her, I touched her thigh. After that incident I was so proud of myself I told them what I did. They just shrugged it and said “para yun lang eh…” but for me it was something. I felt like that was one of those times that I became a Casanova. Okay, maybe a Casanova-in-Training.
And being the easily-influenced guy that I am, while we were having another memorable drinking session, Bone Guy suggested to me that I write Singapore a letter. Writing a letter, he says, can help you say the things that you can’t say when you are in front of the person. And being the probinsyana type of girl, it can also help you look more passionate and serious in courting the girl. I calculated the risk and why not, it’s worth a shot.
I wrote first on a yellow pad to draft the “love letter” and also to avoid erasures. I can’t remember everything that I wrote, but it’s mostly me remembering the times that we were seatmates during the times we were taking calls; me smiling when her conservative persona is shattered when she gets angry with the caller and when she greets the caller with an accent. Of course I included the part when Ii asked her if we can be a couple. Talagang tinuon ko ng oras din yung pagsusulat. I gave her the letter during our shift and waited for a response from her. I waited the whole night but I got nothing. At the end of our shift I approached her on the locker area and said:
Me: Singapore, nabasa mo ba yung sulat ko?
Me: Uhm, well, anong masasabi mo dun? Totoo yung sinabi ko dun sa letter.
Singapore: Di pwede (my name), may boyfriend na ko…
Me: Ah, ganun, ok.
BAM!!! Rejection again. It would hurt a lot if I wasn’t expecting it. I mean, she didn’t react much to the letter (or that she doesn’t have the ability to, given her short responses to everything. I’m kidding.) And just the “gut feeling” of it. You know how it feels. I remember after our shift ended in the morning and I was already about to sleep, her answer kept on replaying on my head. It almost made me cry and parang nasasaktan ako na parang me tumutusok sa tagiliran ko. It took me a while to sleep that day. I guess it really hurt a lot because I invested on so much time on her, and the fact na di pa ko nagkaka-girlfriend. I admit, I was a little pressured on making her my girl, but I guess it’s not yet my time.
My friends quickly heard the news, and as usual they made fun of me but advised that I still talk to her so the fact that we being friends would never fade away. Plus, I didn’t believe that she has a boyfriend. I thought that Singapore didn’t know me well so she said no that day. In a way my mantra that time was “When a girl says “NO” it means “NO” or “try harder, stupid.”
Days go by and I learned on our team-meeting in Batangas that she DOES have a boyfriend; I saw her going to a corner alone and talking to someone over her celfone a couple of times. My teammates told me that her boyfriend was a seaman. And you know that saying na “Seaman-seaMANLOLOKO” or “Ang seaman me syota sa iba’t-ibang port”? That happened to her. Well, it’s either that or they broke up because of the hardship of a long-distance relationship. So my quest to get Singapore continues.
I remember on her birthday that I gave her a bouquet of flowers. Before nung shift pumunta ako sa isang flower shop kiosk on a nearby mall and bought one. I had it made to order for her taste. I can’t remember what type of flower it is, but its theme is pink, since she’s the girly type. I hid it under my seat when I was taking calls and I gave it to her at the end of her shift. At first ayaw nyang tanggapin, nahihiya lang siguro, but my teammates and my Team Manager persisted on her accepting my gift. Eventually she did and I walked her home that day. She thanked me and I was proud of myself that day.
But that joy quickly faded, since she was not really opening up to me and didn’t show interest after all those months. I was like, “Ano bang problema mo at ayaw mo pa sa akin??” I became so annoyed on her that I kept on saying to myself (and after a few weeks, to others) that she has the charm of a mailbox; di mo sya mapapansin. Heck, I even said that a mailbox has more charm than her. I know it was wrong for me to do that, but I guess every man has his limit; I’ve reached mine. I gave up on Singapore and just saw her as a teammate and nothing else. My biggest mistake was I wasn’t courteous to her anymore. On our company year-end party she asked me if I could watch over her handbag since she wants to take a picture of a band. I said yes but I was rolling my eyes. She noticed it and decided to carry it instead. Just plain wrong, I know.
Well, based on what I’ve seen on her Facebook profile, she resigned and is happily working in that country and is in a relationship with a fellow officemate. The officemate is a little too sure of himself (read: mahangin), so it was a surprise for me on how he got Singapore. I guess some men know how to pursue a woman.
What did I learn? A lot, actually. I learned how to be patient and being respectful with a woman. I learned how to be patient on courting, that a great deal of time can be spent. But mostly the cruel reality that there is someone out there that is not for you even if you really tried your hardest. There will come that time, and you just have to accept it.
What I find that is really funny is that my time with Singapore was a combination of all the girls I’ve tried to court. Her faint moustache (Qatar), best friends with the girl I’ve courted before (Valuenzuela) and yung paghahatid sa kanya (Bulacan). Looking at the rather-ominous signs, could it mean that Singapore is the last of the girls that rejected me and the next would say yes? Hmmm… maybe.
(TO BE CONCLUDED)