When I was getting interviewed for a job, my interviewer took a look at my CV and was actually interested with my educational background. Then he asked me if I knew so-and-so, who went to school at Cebu Technological University. I went to Cebu Institute of Technology (now with -University), which apparently to non-Cebuanos, was pretty much the same school.
“No, I’m sorry, but I don’t know him.” I said.
“Are you sure? He placed 4th in the exam.” He insisted.
“No, I really don’t know him.”
I’m not the type of person who actually cared about getting to know you for your accomplishments. Sure, placing 4th in an exam is admirable, for having worked so hard and you can have my respect, but I wasn’t the type of person to actually check the newspaper or any news sites just to find out who you were, unless of course if we have met. Then I’d be interested if you passed the exam or not.
I have been surrounded with people having placed in exams, but they were neither better or worse human beings. They weren’t anybody special. In my eyes, they were still my friends. A lot of them were book smart, but I guess to me, being book smart doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good human being or good at something else in life. I know plenty of non-placers who are actually doing a lot better than the placers.
Moving on, I got the job. On my first day, February 19th of 2015, I was listening to my boss and one of our staff talking about the same person that my then-interviewer, now boss, was asking me about. It didn’t seem to be a secret, but I knew this person and I will not agree on a lot of things. Call me judgmental from hearing just a few things, but the feeling was too ominous to be ignored.
Being Filipino with a few Filipino colleagues at work, we would speak in Tagalog. Then this not-so-tall guy with long hair in a ponytail and an earring on his left ear came in and talked with my boss. It was Mid-March and I wasn’t really feeling the job. I knew it was something that I can learn, but I was struggling.
His accent pretty much gave away that he was Cebuano. The boss introduced us and that was it. I haven’t spoken or heard Cebuano in a long time, so when I found out that he was also from Cebu, I was relieved. He said something in Cebuano (a horrible green joke), and I actually laughed, despite the number of times that I have heard it. It was the relief that made me laugh, not the actual joke. I was just so happy to hear Cebuano in person again that whatever he was talking about, as long as it was in Cebuano, I eagerly listened to.
And since I was the only other person in our department, I was going to be the only other person everyone from the Operations team can rely on. He asked for my contact number before leaving and I gave it to him. I was actually wary about giving out my number, but there was more reason for me to give it to him than not to.
Our meeting was pretty much uneventful.
He was too quiet. He would nod at everything that you say, making you think that he was listening, when all that he can actually hear was just you talking. He was really not listening. He was pretty friendly though, and gave me the impression that he was gentle. But I was sure in my gut that I do not want anything from this guy. He was giving me a bad vibe.
Seriously, first impressions will not prepare you for anything.
I didn’t ask him about what his first impression of me was, but one day, he just suddenly blurted out,
“Isog kaayo siya’g nawong.(She looked angry.)” he said. “Pag una nako kita niya.(When I first saw her.)”
“Pero tabi-an diay kaayo to. (But she was actually talkative.)” This could actually mean that he was also thinking that I was friendly, because I was talkative.
Literally translating what he said is a pain, the dialect is pretty diverse and there are a number of ways of translating it.
Anyway, since the boss found out that I was single, he decided to play Cupid. The boss would tease us whenever he would come to the office, even outright telling us to go out on a date.
I WAS NOT INTERESTED. Like, seriously, no. I even had a list of why I wouldn’t want to date this person. When he realized that his efforts were futile, he even told me why I was single. Wait, why was this even his business?
“Di ka kasi nag-eentertain. Mag-entertain ka kasi. (It’s because you don’t entertain anybody. Entertain somebody already.)” he said.
Like I didn’t know that. My relatives have been bugging me to get married already, and all that happened the year before was that my boyfriend broke up with me. Not because of someone else, but because we were just stuck, and he decided to let go. Then I decided to start moving—by leaving the country. Why can’t relatives just mind their own business?
Why can’t people mind their own business in general? Jeez.
And that’s how we met. Less than two months later, he asked me to marry him.