Abu Dhabi Week is a magazine distributed in several establishments in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (well, yeah, the name suggests so) every week. It is packed with valuable information about lifestyle, real estate, city’s latest news, and more. With its glossy physique and weekly feature, it is too generous to be available for all for free. One of reality’s drivers that the best things in life are indeed free. This week’s cover is extra interesting not because my favorite color is pink. The mosque backgrounder with pink is dedicated to the celebration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Because it is still January, everyone seems serious to lose weight.
I was checking the photo archives from my phone and saw this one which I took last year. Always, after the New Year, I am very motivated to trim weight or at least eat healthily. But I know that it is just to psychologically compensate for all the pigging out that I did the preceding year. But come March, I would be making excuses again. And again. Until it is December already. I remember when we enrolled for a fitness program in a gym when I was still based in Makati, the consultants were saying that consistently there is an influx of enrollees during the first quarter of the year. The same way that there is a federation of ningas cogon gym-goers.
However, there is a tried and tested motivator for me. That is when I am taking part of a wedding. I remember I worked out to death in early part of 2008 for two weddings. Incidentally, I must eat healthily again to prep up for a very important occasion/celebration this year. A younger cousin (whom I have not seen for at least 8 years) is flying to the Philippines with his wife and parents to have a church wedding. Everyone back home is doing the necessary preps, except me. I need to catch up before the big day. Yes, I will be there for a week sometime in March for the wedding. Wow, another whirlwind trip for me.
I was nearly a teener when I had my first period. That Tuesday, I played piko, sipa bola, and climbed the sampaloc and starfruit trees. Incidentally, my playmates and I found a dying kid-Maya bird. We thought he deserves a funeral, so we gave him one. We stick-plowed some portion near a school’s yard. As I was about to bury the poultry angel, one of my playmates screamed as she saw blood marks on my shorts. I was so shocked I couldn’t scream. I told them this shall remain as a big secret. I’d never ever play with them should there be any tiny leak of information. I walked (legs apart) as fast as I can as I tried to reach home. It was my late grandmother who witnessed my cow crying. As the situation demanded, she explained about the menstruation stuff.
Yes, the period has been discussed in a couple of Science subjects before that fated day. But apart from that, we never really talked about it at home. That time, the elders thought it’s either too early or too bold to tackle. That Tuesday was declared a local holiday because it was Jose Rizal’s birthday. I remembered well because the succeeding day was my assigned day to recite Panatang Makabayan as part of the regular flag ceremony (in some days I was randomly assigned to raise and/or fold the flag, etc.) It was too uncomfortable then because of the newest biological change that happened to me. I functioned like a robot . Whew, improper orientation is ridiculous.
The peak of my enlightenment happened when I participated in the Population Commission (PopCom) quiz bee. But years before that, I remember exchanging notes with selected classmates-pals about menstruation and related stuff:
(a) I was told not to bathe the entire duration of red days. Sooner, I didn’t. As much as I respect the elders, I explained to them that it’s so unhygienic and has no scientific basis. “We know better than you, we’ve been there, blah blah…”
(b) Classmate # 1 was told by her aunt to jump off the stairs so the period would be shorten from the ordinary seven to three days. The fool in me envied her. I thought it was not fair that no one told me to jump off the stairs.
(c) Classmate # 2 was obliged by her mother to wash her face by blood (first occurrence) to avoid getting pimples. I almost crazily believed because she really got very nice skin. But then I didn’t envy her because I thought that’s purely yucky. There’s a related myth: to wash your eyes by pee to cure the sore eyes. Double yuckyness.
(d) Classmate # 3 was told by her sister that once she had her period, she’ll get pregnant anytime if she’s kissed (even on the cheeks). And just when we were well-oriented by our Science teacher about the wonders of reproduction system, we thought her sister was oddly just trying to scare her. She’s just being too protective. That’s the better way to look at it.
(e) That virginity would be lost by riding a bike. But we were intense bike riders especially during 6th grade.
(f) That the one who had her first period too early is the pinakamalandi in the batch. Lol. Lol. and Lol.
(g) And a lot of things = myths
Hence, I nodded and sighed as I read the results of the recent survey on BodyLife (really one word) IQ study. Of the 1,800 (women aged 12 to 24) respondents from six Asian countries, Filipinas were with the biggest information gap about body knowledge. The online survey covered questions on woman’s body, female biology, pregnancy, virginity and health.
“Young women from two countries with the lowest body-knowledge IQ scores—the Philippines and India—expressed the most satisfaction with the education they received, suggesting that lack of knowledge is self-perpetuating because ‘you don’t know what you don’t know,’” the paper said.
With the exception of respondents in Singapore, the other young women surveyed revealed that their top sources of female body-knowledge were their close friends, followed by their mothers and their older sisters.
You know how these myths are being passed from one generation to the other. But I didn’t expect it is still this worse as of today. Although these are sometimes discussed with younger ones in our family/among relatives, these are clearly explained to them why they are the so-called myths and why such misinformation survived. Proper orientation should really be given to young women. And well, I think awareness like love and charity should begin at home.
I’m supposed to blog about something else but I thought this one’s worthsharing.
Only a few are aware that I reactivated my dormant Facebook account primarily to play Farm Town. Haha. Sure, it offers gazillion of applications so I took some, e.g. Twilight quiz declaring that I’m a Twilight nerd. So I recently took another one but I didn’t publish it because I hardly understood the message, or maybe I was in denial. Lol. In particular, I clicked on What God Wants You To Know out of curiosity. It says,
You are what you eat.
Food you eat becomes you, so take a good look at the food in front of you, – is this what you want to call yourSelf? What kind of food deserves to be called by your name?
Five days passed and I forgot about that message. Then, I plurked this morning about fresh orange juice (I normally take one before the work kicks off):
A few minutes after that plurk, I checked new feeds from my favorite blogs via Google Reader. This one from Zen Habits struck me:
3 Ways To Enhance Your Willpower:
*Anticipate and plan for your times of low self-control
*Exercise your willpower muscle to get more of it
*Drink some ORANGE JUICE. It turns out that glucose is one of the key ingredients that your brain needs for effective self-control. Willpower. It’s not just for breakfast anymore!
Call it coincidence. I sometimes do and do not believe in signs. But it’s really a matter of how you look into things. Moral of the story: drink orange juice, preferably fresh. Seriously, I know you’re getting my point, i.e. refer to the title (wink).
What does this mean?
(a) Drink orange juice everyday
(b) I am what I eat, so I should stop eating hog’s meat. Or else I’ll be figuratively or literally become a pig. Lol.
(c) Willpower rocks and nurture it
(d) I should re-plant orange trees in my farm (in Farm Town) because I sold them and instead retained the coconut, plum, cherries, lemon and mango trees.
(e) All of the above
(f) None of the above
(g) What else?
Have a great week ahead.