Posted by: nastypen | March 26, 2007

Birthday of the True Imperious Force

Happy birthday to my elder sister. I will never stop gushing about the women in my family. They are strong, wise, willful, and no shrinking violets in life.

They say that the elder sibling terrorizes the younger ones. I have had my share of terror but my sister is the doting kind. She prods me to stop bellyaching and get over it. She would stare down my little sister if she’s having a hissyfit. I can’t imagine being the eldest, I am happy to be the generally-ignored or left alone middle child.

But, I will not discount the influence of my elder sister over me. She is no diva, but she can be an exacting bitch. She is generally no-frills and direct to the point while I dive into my roccoco swirl of emotional upheavals. My sister is calm. I could be a murderer, a blunderbuss but my elder sister is the sniper.

One of the first things I scrawled ever is the letter “D” in cursive. I was about two going on three and my mother decided to teach me how to write and she brought with her organized sheets of papers my older sister used to scrawl on when she was taught how to write. I giggled and pointed at how my elder sister wrote the capital “D” in cursive and squealed that it looked like a flattened cockroach. So, I was drawing letter D’s all on the wall.

When I leaned more to drawing, my mother clucked her tongue and this was the time before she read all those child psychology books about not comparing your child. She pointed at my elder sister proudly and said, “Look at your ate always reading! Books are great!” My elder sister was the voracious reader among us. She finished ALL Nancy Drew books while her contemporaries were busily braiding their hair with ribbons.

My first dictionary belonged to my sister’s. And I loved that book. But I thought it was a hand-me-down, and being male, I wanted my own books and gravitated to my cherished dinosaur and Ancient Egypt books to which my sister ignored. But she would prod me to read novels after she read them. she and I would talk about how I thought it was weird that Jo in Little Women caused quite a stir with her hair cut whenour mother sported Grace Jones‘s hairdo. My sister introduced me to the greatest stories I encountered (not the Bible, my mom did that on her own): the Greek mythologies. My sister read those in the 1st and 2nd grades. She then pointed a book, an illustrated collection of the Greek Myths, for my dad to buy it for me. It was my first ever book that I personally brought to the counter in National bookstore.

I thought the stories were captivating and confusing (Why would the father eat the son, like what the Titan Cronus (Saturn) did to Zeus? And what does ‘bedfellow’ mean?) and my sister claimed that she is Athena, goddess of wisdom. I wanted to be a greek god, too! My sister said I should be Hepaestus, the crippled blacksmith who provided Zeus his lightning bolts. I secretly wanted to be Athena AND Aphrodite (Goddess of love and beauty), but I wanted to be Poseidon (god of the oceans and storms), also.

It was my sister who introduced me to one of the greatest loves of my life. comics. She introduced me to Dagwood and Archie. And the love never left me. These comics prompted me to draw more. My mother encouraged my love for reading and drawing by buying all those comics adaptation of world literature’s greatest novels.

My sister is also the most street-wise among the siblings. She is a tough kid and won’t take no shit. Had we had the same school she would have been in pain seeing me bullied and prompt me to toughen up or beat my bullies on her own. You wouldn’t want to mess with my sister. No, she is not a steroid mass of muscles but she can cut you down with a stare and a few choiced words.

I am a diva and I learned from the best. But my sister is happy at the sidelines. She need not be fabulous (although she is) but she is not the life of the party. She is friendly and accessible. My “edge” is that I am a master of small talk. My sister has perfected one of our talents on being a good judge of character but she waits and sees if she would LET this person warm up to her. I’m just a regular slut making people happy and enthralling them with my stories. My sister will just drink and smirk. She would cooly say, “I’m not one for small talk.” Like I said, sniper.

My younger sister and I gab like crazy. My elder sister is talkative also, but she got no shit compared to her younger siblings. Both my little sister and I have this warm jovial aura around us while our elder sister is a mystery. She will deny this and say that she is warm. Of course, she is! My sister is freindly and she has the most interesting friends EVER! But compared to her younger siblings, my sister is the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. This does not mean she’s frigid. She is a straight arrow. My elder sister allowed us to be fabulous but she is the true conqueror. her strength is mirrored by her younger siblings, too. So, Dang and I are grateful to have a sister with decent and strong character in life.

I remember one story when she was staying at a dorm in UP Diliman and a classmate of her wanted to court her. The poor guy brought her flowers. Big mistake. when my sister went to the lounge to meet this guy and his friend, she shot one look at the flowers and said, “I prefer my flowers growing from the ground.” It was not the flowers that wilted, I’ll you that.


My sister is left-handed. Both my younger sister and I are right-handed. My elder sister is also an Aries, plus a lefty, she would say with a deadpan face “Just like Adolf Hitler.” While I try to research on my younger sister’s and my fellow Pisceans. I would retort, “Oh look! Liza Minelli is Piscean! I hope she’s right-handed like Dang and I! Teeheehee.”

Whoa. this is a long blog post. My little sister might be envious. Nah, she won’t. She’ll just yak and harrumph. But my only excuse is that I’m doing this blog entry at length because our elder sister is getting a husband!

And now, in less than nine months, my elder sister is about to be married. Her friends , my younger sister and I agree that Den and my sister are a great match. If I thought that the guy who was marrying my sister is not deserving of her, I would just go up to him and say “Leave. Don’t waste her time.” My sister knows I would do that IF the future husband is a weakling. But not Den. My sister is a strong character, and Den can stand on his own and not shrink in the shadows. If I say my sister is calm, Den is calmer. It is an interesting partnership, I tell you.

I am not one for rituals and was thinking “Do I have to march down the aisle with my sister since our dad is gone?” It’s not because I thought it would be weird for me to take the place of my dad. I think it is uncharactersitic that I should be the one “to give my sister away” to the bridegroom or that my sister should “be given away” at all.

Nobody gives my sister away. She won’t let that. She has done things on her own all these years. She is not an object to be given away nor to be accepted.

She chooses and decides.

That is my sister.



  1. Happy Birthday, Cool Hand Marj! Hehehe. Thank you for letting me be part of your life. Thank you for you wonderful advice and your wonderful family. Thank you to infinity. I can’t say enough. You’re the one of the most generous people I know. You’re Mentos. Hard outside but soft and chewy inside. Hehehe.

  2. Grabe, you truly love your sister so much for you to take so much time to just write about her. That really means that you have a close knit relationship with her that bridges the distance of the known multiverse. I hope the wedding would be an exciting event for all of you, something that would etch more memories that would galvanize the future generations of your family.

  3. My respect, friendship and love goes beyond being blood-bound. I choose to be in your life because my admiration and fondness for you knows no limitations. BUT DO NOT TEST THE PERMEABILITY OF THOSE BORDERS.

    carry on ‘Se, labs u!

  4. I am still here in Davao and still can’t manage to connect my Taynee to the net, hence I am using a PC and dunno how to activate chikka here šŸ˜¦

    I knew that Jose would be writing for Ate.. so, gagamitin muna kita ha, Jose…

    Ate Marj, Maligayang bati… you are so far (and perhaps almost) sister-in-law taht I’ll ever have… thank you for being sooo nice to me and being my booster ng self-esteem (she always reminds me that I am beautiful too, hehehe!) I still owe you an entry dedication in my blog plus my sobrang tagal ng promise na podcast. But despite all my utang, I know you knew how much I adore and admire you, Ate Marj! Hope you enjoy your last birthday as the brave, single na fashion lawyer. Sa baagy, after this bday of yours, yung “single” word lang naman ang matatanggal eh… hehehe!

    Love you, Ate! And see yah soooooon! MWUAH!

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