Monday, June 8, 2009


Baboy, Damulag, Balyena and, Aparador - These are the words that best bash the hearts and sometimes the dreams of the millions of horizontally challenged people especially in my country, the Philippines. I know the feeling coz I used to be one – the feeling of being stereotyped by the mass media and the depressing paranoia of hopelessness like a mouse caught by a merciless cat.

Thankfully, through strict diet, proper exercise and lifestyle change, I achieved a just-right and healthy body - from 180, I'm down to 140lbs! Now, let me give you a run down of the funny encounters one must identify to CONFIRM if you’re on the brink of being horizntally challenged, and worst, be obese. 

MISTAKEN MASCOT.  Here's the scenario. You attend a children’s party organized by your best buddy in college. You confidently wear a bright red shirt, your favourite top which you got when you were in college, which was very LOSE on you. The party starts and kids become excited. Suddenly, the birthday celebrant, a 7 year old boy, approaches you. He is so ecstatic and gives you a HUGE smile. You pass to him your especially wrapped gift. He thanks you. Suddenly, the kid hugs you tightly. You carry him. Then, he hugs you more. You smiles back. Then the kid says, “I LOVE YOU JOLLIBEE!”

SOLUTION: Never wear clothes that are too loose on you. Never wear horizontal stripped shirts. It will just make you look wider and bigger.

LOOK-A-LIKE. A musical for kids, composed of stellar cartoon icons, is about to happen in a nearby town. Your friend invites you attend one as he is one of the sponsors. He even reserves you a seat at the VIP area. To sweeten the evening, since you thought of wearing that colour purple dress you bought two years ago could be as spectacular as the theater show, you wear it with nice gesture and grace. You pack your purse and soon drive all the way to the venue. The rain hits hard. The road becomes congested. Sadly, you delayed for an hour because of the traffic. Obviously, you come late in the venue. Of course, you don’t want to miss the sole purpose of your coming. While catching your breath, you walk into the hall. Suddenly, a cheery music fades in and the spotlight hits you. The kids are amazed. They all sceam: “TELETUBBIES!”

SOLUTION:Aside from mastering the art of punctuality, never wear clothes that are too tight on you. Plus, pick colours that will make you slimmer. Dark colours are best on this.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. Every couple loves and adorns the idea of love making. It does not only address their sexual needs and passion for each other, but is also serves as a delightful routine to burn fats fast. On a more positive perspective, love making is the jumpstart on having a baby to complete the family tree. However, on your way to completing that TREE, there are unavoidable changes in the yin yang of an indulging sexy time.

In the past, you know that you are always on top in any steamy session. In fact, during your high school years, since were are lean, you were always on top. In college, since you were very athletic and highly energetic, you always again remained on top. Well, that’s before. The now? 

Sadly, because of allowing yourself chained on junk and fast foods to combat stress brought about by corporate slavery that made you gain weight, from being on TOP, now, you come all the way on settling at the BOTTOM. Why is that so? It is because your partner has started to feel uneasy with the love making which is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable. He/She thought, the additional weight has become massive and unbearable. Remember, you're partner is not paranoid nor crazy, it’s the hard-hitting reality.

SOLUTION: Exploring new love making styles appropriate for your convenience and your partner’s. On top of that, learn the art of communicating while on bed. Surely, more nerves are awakened by not delving on the physical moves but also on the mental aspect.

PHYSICALLY (NOT) FIT. In the Philippines, there are different kids of public transportations – buses, trains, jeepney, tricycle, FX, and even pedicabs. Aside from rendering service to the public, these modes of transportation are solely crafted according to the owner’s goal of earning money. As such, drivers are so strict (sometimes exaggerated) when it comes on welcoming passengers. They squeeze in as many passengers as they can, which sometimes, and most of the time, offends others. 

The perfect example, although it may be uttered as a joke, drivers ask those horizontally challenged people to pay “DOUBLE” on the seat they occupy. Now, if it happens on you, truth is, you’re getting beyond your normal weight/size.

SOLUTION: Look around. Check on which area has the lean people. And after assessing, simply transfer to balance seating arrangement. And if the grumpy driver fires again his insulting words, ignore him and put your iPod. Frankly, everyone has the right to space! Plus, you're paying for it.

BOLSTER COMPANION. We Filipinos love traveling. We save money just visit the most pristine beaches and green islands of our country. And because we are practical and madiskarte, we know how to travel in perfect budget. We get the cheapest travel packages that come along with the coolest deals and sometimes freebies. And in a long travel, we prefer to experience serenity before reaching our destination.

But here’s the deal: what would you do if suddenly, a kid sleeps on your rounded and soft arms, and when you move your body, the kid gyrates uncomfortably? Would you be able to disturb his tight rest? Of course not. Reality, the kid just found its perfect TRAVEL BOLSTER on long travels in YOU.

SOLUTION: Be polite in addressing the child’s needs. Give him/her a real bolster. Better yet, talk to the child's parents to pacify its whims.

OUT OF BREATH. Brisk walking is one of the practical and effective forms of exercise. 30 minutes a day of walking can truly make an impact in your life. However, if by simply walking from one workstation to another or delivering files from one floor to another floor gives you terrible breathing problems, your body fats must be pulling you down. I suppose, the caldereta, pasta, liempo and pork sisig are the culprits on such lethargic behavior! Wakey! Wakey!

SOLUTION: Walk, walk and walk. Fight your lazy self and bring in a more positive outlook on the life-changing impact of walking.

FIREWORKS DISPLAY. Working in a corporate set-up entails you the right outfit and attitude to climb up in the symbolical ladder. You don’t only have to be confident in wearing your smile on presentations but you also need to be presentable. As they say, first impressions last. But what would you do if your buttons pop out in the middle of a very enticing exchange of views and opinions in a client presentation? Freeze in shame? Walk out and fix your thing? Sew in front of your client? Deadma? Make a joke? Truth is, you can never escape such incident. Worse of all, instead of making a brand recall on your products, your popping buttons may create lifetime branding on yourself.

SOLUTION: Aside from running through your presentation for the very last time, double check your clothes. And best of all, pick attires that makes you look relax yet confident. Of course, any client would feel uncomfortable on seeing a presenter who looks like gasping for air.

SQUEAK AND QUICK. Previous reports on Earthquakes have painted and instilled terror on everyone. In fact, the experiences carve a haunting recurring image on our minds. And on top of that, by merely hearing the squeaking sound of the ground makes us faint in fright. Yes! It’s the squeaking sound that disturbs us. And that sound can be easily heard from a horizontally challenged person seating in a small, sleek and wooden chair. Who would not be afraid yet pitiful for a man/woman literally falling in the chair?

SOLUTION: Find a chair that best fits your size. At the end of the day, you don’t only bring security and comfort on the people’s discriminating eyes but you would also enjoy the essence of sitting. On top of that, you’ll be confident to move with the stable and sturdy capacity of the chair.

UPGRADE. Everyone loves upgrade – credit card limit upgrade, home loan upgrade, food upgrade, etc. The word “upgrade” masturbates the human’s ego. However, despite the egoistic nature this upgrade brings into our lives, there’s one kind of raise that shocks us the most – it’s body size upgrade! From being size 3, you are now 14, and from being a medium-built mortal, you have become a XXL gigantic mammal.

SOLUTION: As they say, life throws the best packages to those who work hard and passion. So, never let your laziness and laid back lifestyle makes you big, big and big. Channel your attention on being big time by achieving what’s more than the physical. Would it be nice if you get a lifestyle upgrade on being active and fit?

GOODBYE R-T-W (Ready To Wear). Fashion is a self expression. However, in a highly-consummated world, fashion has become the buzz in popular culture. Although designer claims that each design represents individuality, mass production shutters the myth. Although that may sound theoretical, looking on our budget, we define fashion through RTWs. Sadly, RTWs are limiting. It only appeals to those, as boxed by the glitzy fashion world, slim, petite and Barbie dolls/ Kens.

SOLUTION: You don’t have to follow the trends. If you can find your size, make your size. Do not think engaging a seamstress to do your clothes as a shameful move. Reality dear, it’s the way you carry and sashay the dress that defines fashion in its strictest sense.

MORNING SICKNESS. It is normal to feel dizzy and nauseous among pregnant woman especially on mornings. It is called as morning sickness. However, if you are not preggy and every time you wake up you feel bloated and realise that your tummy is getting big and bulging, well, it’s a sign that you’re soon to conceive an unnecessary excesses in your tummy.

SOLUTION: Eat less at night but do not starve yourself to death. Some biscuits and fruits could help feed your hunger.

FAULT LINE ALERTS. Stretch marks and fault lines are evidences of movement or change. While most stretch marks appear on pregnant woman, fault line emerges after some changes in the earth grounds. Relatively, both are by products of massive movements. Sex happens and pregnancy occurs. The earth shakes and fault line materializes. Tracking back on the real world, for a single, vibrant and young individual, stretch marks add to one’s inferiority.

SOLUTION. Although there are creams and lotions in the market promising to erase the nightmares brought by stretch marks, doing exercise and losing weight is the most effective way in removing it as it calms the elasticity of your skin.

SAVING GRACE! Whenever summer hits the Philippines, it is inevitable to visit any swimming get away. We Filipinos love basking even under the scorching heat of the sun especially with our family or friends, enjoying a hearty all-Filipino kamayan lunch, and watching the spectacular sights the resort or island has to offer. Additionally, summer is also the season to best put on the sexiest swim wear sleeping in months inside the dusty closet. Now, here’s the deal? What would you do is a kid comes to you and thought of you as a SALBABIDA? Then, on one hand, a kid punches your bilbil as he thought about it as a soft water toy.

SOLUTION: Dress appropriately. If you think your swim wear reveals too much of your bulging bilbils, take a minute to face the mirror and change. Never call the glamorous fairy god mother to make miracles, the power lies within you! Why not be inventive in fashioning your summer ensemble. A vibrant sarong, some hats, and accessories can help you on this.

PICTURE OVER. Even before the boom of DLSRs and digital cameras, Filipinos have adopted the culture of immortalizing moments through cameras – be it a family affair, friends escape or any narcissistic fixation. So, have you ever felt not fitting the frame of the camera? Have your friends jokingly bashed you to shrink your size for everyone to fit? Have you felt seeing Dabiana as a prototype on a picture of you? Truth be told, these are subconscious yet real mirroring of your quest on crossing your normal weight.

SOLUTION: Project! Do not spoil the moment by thriving on the insults and discriminations. Be yourself and show what you really got. After all, photography is well articulated by its subject. Remember, it’s the attitude that matters most!

SLOW MO. We live in a fast-paced and mobile world. However, it seems for some, life has turned its back on them and they opted into a more slow, complacent and lazy lifestyle. Do you feel easily tired? Do you despise walking? Do you prefer instant food? Are you a couch potato on weekends? Do prefer to ride a public transportation even if the place you’re supposed to visit is walkable? Do you love elevators rather than stairs to visit a nearby floor? Do you pig out at most times? If you say yes at most of these questions, reality bites, you’re a perfect candidate on becoming an obese person.

SOLUTION: WAKE UP and ACT! All you need is a lifestyle change! Eat properly and follow a regular exercise! This is not an issue on getting that perfect bodies those ads and magazines slap on our face, it’s about embracing a healthy lifestyle to keep us fit and at pace with our loved one!

The author does not discriminate those horizontally challenged people. The narratives here are based on the author’s personal experiences and observations on his surroundings. If you have any comments or violent reactions, feel free to do so.

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