Do you feel disconnected?

photo not mine

Disconnected. Detached. Not being connected to something. 

As far as I can remember, I was on my own since I was a grade 1 student. I am from a broken family and also the eldest of 3 sisters. When I was in grade 1, my mother worked as a waitress in a pub. She worked every night so I was left alone or sometimes left to the couple who rented a room in our house in E.Rodriguez. I have an uncle who also stays in the same house but he was a security guard and worked graveyard shifts. Sometimes, during wee hours of the night, I will be awaken by my father (who was trying to win my mother back). He will visit me to bring some food or check how was my situation.

My other two sisters stayed with my grandmother in Gilarme,Quezon City. I was left alone because my school is one ride away from our house in E. Rodriguez and it wasn’t possible to stop and transfer school at that time. As a grade one student, I did my assignments alone. My mom will check them in the morning when she arrives from work. My mom has no patience in teaching. Sometimes, she will scold me or pull my hair if I forgot what she just taught me. To me that time, it was normal.

One of my most memorable moment, living alone at the age of 8 was seeing our tenant holding her newly born kid on her hand while coming out of the toilet. She basically gave birth while on the bathroom. I was standing on a chair then, scooping rice on my plate when I heard a cry of a baby. I thought it was coming from outside but two minutes later, she came out of the toilet. I ran outside and called help. All I know was she died from giving birth and I am not sure if the baby survived. All those events at the age of 8.

Now, many years later. I still feel alone. I never bonded with my sisters when I moved to my grandmother’s place at the age of 11. I was a type of kid who watches SeaQuestDSV than play outside. I preferred taking care of my cousin than play Chinese garter. When I reached college, my aunt (mother of my cousin), took me in. She supported my education while I took care of her kid. My mom on the other hand, married my step dad and moved to the province. My aunt was hesitant to get my sisters because they won’t follow the house rules but she did anyway. But they got pregnant early so they need to leave.

Fast forward to 2006. My cousin moved to Japan. So no more reason to stay at home. I started renting. My work became my life. I barely talk to any relatives. I only come home on Christmas or New Year. I don’t remember anyone’s birthday except my two sister and my aunt and my cousin. Again, I felt disconnected. Detached to my own family. Sometimes I think it’s my fault for not being there especially during family events but when I’m there, I feel lost. Awkward at times. I don’t understand their jokes, their “hirits” and sometimes they thought I have millions in my wallet when I come home. So I stopped going home.

When my aunt paid a visit to the Philippines, that’s the only time I come home. I felt somewhat a “family” when she’s there however, now I feel I am also losing her. My last hope of having that “family ties” is slowly fading. When I am with them, I feel like an outsider. I know she’s just my aunt and not my mother but I considered her one. I asked her for a favor that doesn’t involve money and she’s like “okay, when I have time… if not pasensya na lang…“. That favor will define my future and I only get pasensya na lang. It hurts me so much. I took care of her kid. I took care of her husband. I am just asking for a very small favor and she said maybe. Sometimes I pray to God that I am an adopted kid so these things will all be justified. My feelings of being detached will be justified. I am just lucky I have a solid base of friends but I know eventually everyone will have a family of their own and I will be left alone again.

Everytime I feel down and alone, I pray so hard that my head will still be clear and my emotions will not let me do crazy stuff. I trust God’s decision that He put me in this family for a reason and hopefully I will understand it sooner.


How to Learn another Language 101 (Japanese)

I have been studying Japanese for 3 years or more but only this year that I passed JLPT N5. I took it in 2016 but I was out of focus and rarely had a good review prior to having the exam so I failed. Good thing I was able to turn the situation around and found my motivation again to review and learn Japanese. I know my progress was slow but after passing the JLPT N5 exam, I am more focused than ever. I want to pass N3 this year that’s why I am devoting my free time in study. I think having no job was a plus too coz I only have my studies to worry. Let’s just say that since I was jobless, I made sure I am enriching myself with something else. I may not have that monthly salary anymore but I gained another bragging right! 😂

Actually, I am writing this to help those Japanese beginner or aspiring Japanese learner to learn quick because I did a trial and error with myself and now I know which one worked and which did not. So take note of these, kids!

1. Learn Hiragana and Katakana including strokes of course. Do not jump to Kanji right away. Be patient.

2. Study the beginner phrases and words before studying Kanji. Your JLPT exam is composed of sentences. You need to understand first the arimasu, arimasen or imasu, imasen before getting to Kanji.

3. Once you are familiar with the phrases, start your Kanji. Study at least 5-6 kanjis everyday. Find a book that will help you remember them. As for me, the Unko books are very helpful because they are systematically arranged. So it helped me connect one kanji to another. As you progress with Kanji study, your brain will get familiar in reading it as radicals rather than strokes. Believe me it will happen.

4. Set a deadline on when you will finish the book and what’s next on your study. After getting the results of JLPT, I was aware that listening is my weakest so I am focusing on that more.

5. Find a Japanese friend even online where you can practice speaking. Use apps like Italki and Hellotalk. Be careful though because sometimes Japanese students are naughty haha!

6. In my own opinion, Anime did not help me. It’s awesome to watch anime, yes! But please note that the language they use is informal so it might confuse you as a learner. However, reading Manga helped me improve my Kanji drills. It’s amazing! I think it’s up to the person basically.

7. Take a rest. Sometimes, I pushed myself too far that I was already writing the wrong meaning of the Kanji or I cannot write them properly. It’s best to take a rest in between and reward yourself from time to time.

Are you learning another language? Let me know what’s the most effective way for you!