I was born on June 14th, 1980 in Manila. Like most Filipinos, I lived with my parents much longer than people do in the States. Here it’s not uncommon for 3-4 generations to be living together under the same roof. I’m told that in Mexico it’s common to see the same family tightness. Obviously it was not my first choice to live with them until I was 24, but here in the Philippines budgets are rather small for living on your own. Of course you can find housing for $50 per month for a shared dorm style room all the way up to $400 for a very nice 1 bedroom apartment in the Central Business District of Makati. To most people reading this that sounds very reasonable if not totally cheap altogether. I understand that the same 1 bedroom apartment in the CBD of cities like New York and San Francisco can cost $2000 and up. The big problem here is jobs as you might imagine. The Philippines is well known for its abundance of English speakers. But there is so much talent in this poor country that it is easy for an employer to quickly hire a staff and have hundreds on the waiting list within a matter of days. So it may be easier to accept that my $250 per month salary when I worked as a trainer in a call center is basically standard. At the highest levels of management in my company, the salaries are still relatively low compared to the rest of the world at $900 per month. But these call centers typically employ some of the brightest young talent our schools can produce. For those of you reading this who call those 1-800 numbers, you are probably speaking to a Filipino sitting in a call center in the middle of the night (our time) that is assigned to assist your call. The reason you probably were not aware of this is because we are so well trained to adopt a “neutral” accent and most people think that they are talking to someone in their own country.
So that’s what I did for about 10 hours per day and at roughly $1 per hour. I trained my countrymen and women to be able to talk to you when you call customer care centers and for you not to detect that fact. After all, it’s well known that people would rather speak to someone who intimately knows, on a first hand basis, the product or service for which you have questions. You probably would feel uneasy if you knew that I have never been to your city for which you are asking directions and I’m reading off of a map while talking to you.
So for those of you who might moan and groan should you find me advertising a few things on my website to make extra income, at least take a moment to consider the fact that I don’t make $60,000 per year and up like most of you Internet people from Western countries who are reading this. $250 per month took me as far as you can imagine it did. Bandwidth, domain names, servers, and PC usage is not free you know. Most people here do not have their own PC and must use internet cafes if they are to take part in modern communication with the outside world.
After reading what I wrote above, you might have already guessed that I have at least some ability to use my brain to get what I need out of life to survive at a reasonable level. This is in contrast to most of my friends or co-workers who have either done nothing or turned to various forms of discreet prostitution to make ends meet. To me, accepting any gift from a man whatsoever that you don’t love (or hope to love) with sex on his mind is prostitution, pure and simple. And trust me, the offers are always there, especially from local businessmen who want a mistress. But I learned from a friend back in college that there are many ways to get what you want from men and do not need to do anything in return as long as you know how to make them respect you.
So what you read above is a few things about my character. I see the world from an optimistic point of view regardless of how I may come across. Even as an optimist, I do see the world as dominated by men. It’s not because men are smarter than women, as overall they are not. But men tend to have greater motivation in securing the objects of their desire, whether it is through force, persuasion, or simply hard work. It’s interesting though those unattractive men tend to be at the pinnacles of society through pure brute force hard work while unattractive women do not accompany them there with equal effort. This is where I come in. It’s my belief that no matter how hard you work as a woman, your looks are your limiting factor. Now for all of the feminists out there about to blow a fuse and fire off an angry e-mail to me attempting to prove me wrong, let me say this: Just because you are not “beautiful” doesn’t mean that you won’t rule the world. It’s just my experience that you will have to work 10 times harder than a beautiful woman of equal motivation and intelligence. For all of you ladies who disagree with me, and even some men, I know you can recall a time you were up for a promotion but were passed over by your sexier co-worker of slightly less talent who constantly bats her eyelashes at the boss. In an ideal world, the boss would be smart enough to ignore Ms. Flirt. But this is the real world. So this is why I believe that taking care of my skin and body is the first step on my path to success. Research proves this concept when studied in the average workplace if you care to do a search on Google.
So again, looks are very important to make it easier to get what I want out of life while still allowing myself 8 hours of sleep per night. I love to eat, but I only “cheat” on my diet once per day, meaning I eat whatever I want. The rest of the time I eat food that I prepare such as eggs or chicken and bring them with me wherever I go in my purse. To stay fit, I work out 3-4 days per week. If I’m trying to get in shape for a big social event that is 2 weeks away, I increase my training time to 6 days per week. Any more than this and I can’t walk! I also love to lift heavy weights. It’s interesting how my female officemates won’t go near a gym because they think that they will get huge muscles. At the same time they all tell me how they want arms and shoulders like mine, but turn up their nose when I tell them how I lift weights “like a guy”. LOL! Talk about a catch-22 in their logic! I wish these same ladies would talk to our male officemates who lift weights for months and still barely look like they have seen the inside of a gym. Hello ladies….it’s called years of diet, discipline and genetics. Add steroids if you don’t have at least two of those factors and then we can talk about looking like a man. Do I look like a man? Not according to all of the wonderful words of encouragement I receive from random strangers!
Other than this, I like to run along Manila Bay every now and then, swim at the pool at the high-rise of my friends, and learn about business so that I might have my own someday. I don’t want kids for the next 10 years or so since I want to build something to support a family first. The biggest mistake Filipinos make here is thinking that you have to have 10 kids before the age of 30, otherwise you will be “too old” to enjoy them. Too old? Tell that to my grandmother who can still kick my ass even though I can bench press 135 lbs.
So do I work out too much or spend too much time in front of the mirror? Well let's put it this way: I would be willing to bet that I spend less time taking care of myself per week than most people spend watching TV. I don't watch TV by the way...if you could see local programming you would understand why.
More to come.
P.S. If you have a blog/website and like the way I think (or even think I'm nuts) please link to my site!
January 11th, 2005
Due to (surprisingly) popular demand: How you can contribute to my website.