Un-AnonymousMay 31, 2008
After receiving my enrollment documents, I went inside a room to have them filled out.
A throng had already gathered around a table when I arrived. The room was loud with the sounds of new acquaintances making small talk and old friends having a small reunion. Almost everyone in the room was unknown to me, and I hoped that I was also unknown to them. I didn’t want to explain why I proceeded to enter the Medical field considering that I already graduated from an Engineering course. I made my way to an empty seat which was sitting coincidentally next to someone I already knew.
Oi G*, musta man? I said to him. Unsay buhaton diri?
Hey G*, wazzup? What do we do here?
I-fill-up nato ni**, he answered as he pointed to his documents.
We fill up these.
Then he started to introduce me to his friends.
Si C* ni, he continued as he pointed to them, si G*.
This is C*. This is G*.
I nodded in greeting as he introduced me to them.
Si J*, he said. Gikan ni siya sa UP. Engineering ni iyang course.
This is J*. He’s from UP. He took up Engineering there.
My whole world seemed to stop as my mind formed damage control measures. I knew my background would eventually be discovered by most of my future classmates, but I didn’t want it to be discovered that soon. First day of school hasn’t even come; we were still on our enrollment day.
I hurriedly put a finger on my lips and lightly whispered, Ayaw’g saba G*. Mahibal-an nila.
Don’t mention that, G*. They’d know…
Ai, nahibal-an na namo, someone sitting beside me said.
Oh. Now we know.
I turned to the speaker and saw a girl. I looked around the table and saw eyes staring at our general direction. Some were surreptitious, others were more blatant. Apparently, our conversation was not that private.
Lagi, I said with lowered eyes as I turned my head from side to side in the ritual form of disagreement.
I didn’t want that information publicized.
I didn’t want to answer several more inquiries about UP and Engineering and medicine. Yet I did, and I gained a few friends from it as I also asked them about their backgrounds.
Afterwards, I helped G* and C* find a place near the college. We were tired from the walk, and we decided to rest. Just then an older student, whom I knew, arrived.
Hi J*, she said. Nakitan nako imong blog.
Hi J. I saw your blog.
Oh, I answered. Gi unsa nimog discover?
Oh? How did you discover it?
Nag search lang ko, she said. Tapos nakoy nabasahan na murag ikaw man gyud. Tapos naay ga-comment with j*. Didto ko naka sure.
I found it by searching. Then I saw something that sounded like it belonged to you. Then someone commented with j*. That was when I became sure it was yours.
Yikes, I said.
C* then asked, Unsa imong blog?
What’s your blog?
I answered him only with a laugh. I wanted to keep whatever anonymity I still had.
**Filipinos don’t fill out forms. They fill up forms.