Episode 188 – Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 (7582)
I still remember when I was a young student at the Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) many teachers and fellow students who were hard to spell my first name (by the way, my real name is just weird but unique). They couldn’t write my name because they said it was weird or foreign-like. They misspelled my name mostly. And also they couldn’t even pronounce it. I don’t understand why my family gave me a “weird” name when I was born. Why not usual names like John or Joseph or Matthew or… any Biblical names or whatsoever? Arghhh… But that’s already my real first name that I’ve used in my entire life. Tent Tertional is just my pen name or screen name, and I’m still using this for most of my writings, including this blog, for more than 20 years.
Anyway, back in 1994, when I was a new student at PSD (and yes I studied in a deaf school despite that I’m NOT totally deaf), I observed that all deaf students, teachers and staffs had their own call names in sign language. They signed their first initials usually on their cheeks, forehead or chin. But when they assigned for my call sign name, they called my first initial “L” (from my real name) on the nose! Because I was unaware about the things happened due of my young age, somebody laughed on my call sign – letter “L” on the nose. I didn’t mind this until when I was in second grade two years later. I realized that my call sign name was somewhat an “insult” for me. So, I just decided to change it. And my new call sign was “L” on right cheek with “speech” sign, and many of my classmates, teachers and staffs recognized this which I had used until my fourth year high school. When I was in the United States for the exchange program, this was changed into “LG” (from my initials) suggested by my host mother, Lyn Woolmaker, and this was used mostly while I was studying at my host school, Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD). However, when I came back home in July 2005, my call sign name was never used since because I no longer studied in a deaf school (I was transferred from PSD to non-deaf school upon my return home). Although I used my call sign “LG” briefly when I worked in a deaf travel agency in 2010, it has no longer existed in my present life in the “Non-Deaf World”.
Back in 2005, after my return home from the U.S., I was unhappy in the new school that I attended for high school because I was bullied without any respect. When I was in deaf (special) school, almost everyone respected me as a model student, but unlike when I was in non-deaf (ordinary/normal) school, I got almost trauma because of bullying. It’s because I was too quiet with those noisy and freak classmates. But, aside of bullying, when I was in college in a non-deaf institution, there’s one thing that I was really insulted. Some of my classmates in our I.T. course called me as “Mr. Bean”. Why? It’s because of my voice/speech and my personality that were somewhat similar to the identity of Mr. Bean. Although this show, portrayed by Sir Rowan Atkinson, was one of my favorite TV comedy shows to watch during my childhood, I didn’t understand why they called me like that, and sometimes they teased me like the voice of Mr. Bean such as “Teddy”. I felt it was an insult to my character. Even in my working career, when I was working in San Pedro, my colleagues tried to call me “Mr. Bean”, but it was just for fun, and they never called me like that again. After time, I told some of them to stop calling me “Mr. Bean” because it hurt my feelings, and then they stopped teasing because we’re already mature enough to get serious especially in college studies.
Even at work, somebody had, not just only bullied, but insulted me so badly in the workplace. In summer of 2009, while I was working for On-the-Job Training in a hospital in Santa Rosa, Laguna, one of my co-workers called me as “Bebe Gandanghari” – a celebrity who converted from his old action star, Rustom Padilla. Although she didn’t describe me as a gay, she observed that I was lame and too “soft” while I was doing things at the radiology department. However, I got irritated on her description about me because I felt she “insulted” me so bad even though I didn’t have any bad intentions on her at work. Few years later, when I worked at Alabang, somebody played me to match with one of our work colleagues who was about 40 plus of her age. I got mad because I didn’t like to bother my love life and to match me with others that I didn’t have any love feelings. That’s an insult to my private life. (For more stories about these bad things especially in bullying, read Episode 177 that I published last August.)
I don’t really understand why some people do this insult to me particularly at work. That’s why my working career has been somewhat “ruined” because of bullying or insulting my personality. Is this because I am a shy-type and silent person? Am I an introvert? Yes, I am. But I’m not only one in this world because there are different people around that contrast their personalities, traits and feelings. Some people are hyper or overactive; some are choleric or arrogant; and some are too shy or melancholic just like me. And if ever someone insult me or hurt my feelings, he/she might never be considered as a good friend of mine.