Last week, I shared some stuff on my brother and our relationship as siblings. Sharing with you some more stuff this week:
ON THE LADY PIG’S UNMENTIONABLES
Det, at a young age, had pretty advance motor skills. He went from toddling precariously to literally climbing the walls and gleefully exploring every other panic-inducing area of the house.
He was however, pretty slow on the uptake verbally. Det did not utter a single word until he was three. He communicated with us through grunts and weird sounds and pointing. He made no attempt to speak – No “ma-ma”, “da-da” – nothing to give my parents any ray of hope that he was going to eventually get there.
He was so delayed that my mother was getting a little freaked out. She actually thought that he was mute or had some sort of speech impediment.
So she did the sensible thing: She went to my grandmother (her mother) for advice.
My grandmother, the sage woman that she was, suggested that they need to feed Det an age-old, tried-and-tested remedy for the speech impaired; kiki ng baboy.
Yup, you read right. My brother was given some poor hapless pig’s vagina for consumption. What the eff, right?
I have no idea where she got the notion that eating Ms. Piggy’s privates would turn my grunting, pointing baby brother into a wordsmith. But even more baffling – my mom actually agreed!!
Luckily, my dad came home just in time to stop the indignity. So he comes home from work, and sees Det happily scurrying around with a piece of porky flesh in his hands. He innocently asks my mom what my brother was holding. He naturally freaks out and grabs it from my brother before he had a chance to put it in his mouth.
As luck would have it, Det started speaking a few weeks after the almost being fed a big juicy slab of pork p*ssy. It would have been a better story if he did get the chance to eat it wouldn’t it? Then we would have pig’s VJJ to thank for his communication skills.
So what’s the point of this story? Nothing. I just wanted a chance to say it again because it’s hella funny. Hehehe.
Seriously though, even at a young age, my brother was always a risk-taker. From questionable cuisine, to adrenaline-inducing activities to more or less weighty life choices, Det was never afraid to take a leap. In comparison, I’ve always been a pansy. So I’m little in awe of the way fearlessly lives life and takes chances. And how even after getting hurt or epically failing, he’s never afraid to jump right back in.
ON HIS PATRICIAN NOSE
I mentioned in my last post that my family has been never the touchy-feely kind. Infact, we usually show our affection in brutal, teasing ways.
As a result, both my brother and I grew up with a self-deprecating sense of humor.
One of the things we always liked teasing Det about was his flat, slightly bulbous nose. Infact, when we were kids, I used to make him cry because I would tell him that he looked like one of them characters in Dinosaucers.
Even my dad, who sincerely had the best intentions, would affectionately pinch my brother’s nose gently, and exclaim “Tangos ilong!”
Long after we all outgrew teasing him though, Det would randomly joke about this in the middle of a totally unrelated conversation, “Oh, I’m sorry! Is my nose blocking your view? Tangos kasi eh!”
Or sometimes, while looking at family pictures, “My bridge is so defined, nagmumukha tuloy kayong pango.”
The thing is, Det has always been very comfortable in his own skin. And it shows with the ease in which he carries himself or the way he has a sense of humor about his “flaws”. He just doesn’t let other people’s opinions of him stop him from doing what he wants to do (or wearing what he wants to wear for that matter. Calling you out on your orange shorts dude.) He just does things regardless; with no ounce of hesitation or self-consciousness.
ON HIS IMAGINARY FRIENDS
Both Det and I grew up with imaginary friends. But, my “friends” actually had names, personalities and distinct idiosyncrasies (I still remember some of them; Fred was the studious one; Steve, his brother, was the funny one.)
Det, however, had more primitive “friends”. In fact, he didn’t even bother giving them names, he merely referred to them as “Kalbo” and “Meron Buhok”. (The Bald One and the One with Hair).
Yes, imagination was definitely not his strong suit.
It’s funny though because that short anecdote also shows how different our personalities are. I am an overthinker; I tend to analyze things to the death and simple tasks become more even more complicated because I look at all details and all scenarios. Even my personality has many facets- I can be a certain way with a certain group of people, be another way with another set of friends.
With Det, what you see is what you get. His personality is pretty consistent and he tends to view things in a less complicated, less strenuous manner. He’s the type who takes things at face value and deals with the complications as they come.
ON MUTUAL RESPECT
People who know us can attest to this, Det and I are complete opposites.
I am a pansy, he’s a risk –taker. He’s uncomplicated, I’m complex. I’m a creature of comfort, he’s pretty much rough-and-tumble. I like to obsess about details, Det is more concerned about the bottom line. I’m more verbally-inclined, he is more spatially-intelligent.
I think these difference were partly the reason why we didn’t get along as kids.
But as we got older, we sort of developed a mutual respect for each other. As our tita succinctly put it (Hi tita B!), we’ve learned to appreciate how our differences complement each other- we’ve learned to appreciate how we each bring something unique to our family and our sibling dynamics.
ON LETTING US DUKE IT OUT
I think we wouldn’t have gotten to this point though, if my parents, didn’t let us just go at it.
Unless our fight got particularly violent, my parents never intervened. Even when my sumbungera ass called their attention every time we had a little tiff (yup, even if I was technically the older one and the bully, I was also usually the first one to rat on my brother too), they would ignore my shrill cries for help and would always insist that we learn to fix our problems ourselves.
It lead to a lot of frustration, but the relationship we’ve managed to build is definitely legit. Since we were never forced or obligated to get along, we don’t necessarily feel that we have to like each other because we’re related by blood. Instead, we’ve actually fostered a spontaneous , genuine friendship that goes beyond normal, dutiful sibling affection.
ON LUCKING OUT WITH MY BROTHER
I definitely credit our parents for providing a loving environment and for raising us to independently manage our conflicts. They may have had made questionable child-rearing decisions, but Det and I wouldn’t have this bond if it weren’t for them.
But I also have to give props where props is due. It is not hard for me to sincerely appreciate Det for who he is because he really is an upstanding guy.
I was a biatch to him when we were growing up, and if my dastardly acts of injustice were done to someone else, we probably wouldn’t even have a relationship right now.
I remember a recent conversation with my husband. We were talking about how a certain person (who shall remain anonymous), has been so traumatized by his sibling’s bullying that they now have a strained relationship.
I smugly pointed out, “Eh ba’t si Det? I bullied him too, but we’re okay now.” To which Moe quickly replied, “Eh si Det yon eh! Mabait kasi kapatid mo.”
I think it was so easy for me to take my brother’s kindness for granted when were kids because he’s the only sibling I have and I have no one to compare him to. 😛 But looking at other people’s relationships with their brothers and sisters, I realize that I really did get lucky with mine. 🙂
So to Det, (brace yourself for the CHEESE): I remember how when papa passed away, you suddenly grew up and took the pressure of being the “man of the house” very seriously. Thank you for always being my annoyingly optimistic shoulder to cry on. I hope you know, that especially now that we’ve also said goodbye to mom, you will always have your ate to nag you and to protect you. I love you!