DEAR CHICO, DELAMAR, AND GINO… I’m an incoming junior high school student in a new school. Last year, I was severely bullied. I was forced to stop attending my previous school. I was homeschooled instead to finish my sophomore year.
Basically, I was traumatized. My bullies hurt me emotionally and physically to the point that I contemplated on committing suicide. That is why I’m regularly seeing a psychologist. Having a therapist really did help. I know she knows the best for me. She advised me to return to a school this school year so that I won’t get used to being inside the comforts of our home. She said I’m ready.
I still fear the worst, though. But I know I have to be strong to help myself. Believe it or not, you three helped me through my difficult times. Listening to your show always makes me smile. And for that, thank you. Your advice on how to overcome this will mean the world to me. Thank you very much. -K.H.
CHICO SAYS… I can feel for you, having been bullied all my life. Even until now, I feel the trauma of bullying being in the radio industry. The bullies are just bigger “kids,“ and the attacks a lot more vicious. Friends have explained to me that I’m very bully-able. I’m meek and a geek, and seems to be “asking for it.“
Delle once explained it this way: I somehow give off the prey vibe, so predators tend to zero in on me. So you see, the topic of bullying is not new to me, it’s baggage I carry to this very day. Even now, whenever we’re invited to events with celebrities and social glitterati, I always get a chill down my spine, a deep-seated fear that I’ll be judged, that people will throw me out because I’m not one of the cool people and that I don’t belong there. It may sound O.A., but this is the ordeal I go through ALL THE TIME. This insecurity stems from being made fun of, being teased, being made to feel inferior all my life.
So I understand where you’re coming from. But in the same vein, I also understand the need to tell you that you simply CANNOT hide yourself away from the bullies. You can’t live in the safe confines of your four walls forever. You will eventually have to face the real world, with all its bullies and its other fearsome monsters. It’s not an easy world to live in, but you MUST find the courage and the strength to forge on. It’s nonnegotiable. Find a support group, find your strength from family and friends, do whatever it takes to grow emotional legs you can stand on again. There may be wickedness in the world, but I believe there is an equal amount of genuine good to act as a counterbalance. Take it step by step, day by day, and before you know it, you’re far from home, on your journey to wherever it is you ought to be. It won’t be easy, but there is always a way.
DELAMAR SAYS… At some point in everyone’s life, we must stand up to our bullies. I’m sorry that the bullying that you went through was too severe that you needed therapy. Nevertheless, you are in a different school now and hopefully things will be better there. I hope that the school authorities have been informed of your problems in your previous school so they can make sure nothing of the same problem happens again to you.
Apart from that, I just want you to learn to fight back. You need to develop this instinct to push back anyone who dares to push you first. You have to hone the fighter in you so nobody can take advantage of you and make you afraid. You have to turn on the warrior in you. It’s there somewhere and you need to be able to summon him when the need arises. You need to stand up for yourself.
I was bullied when I was young. My whole class got on my case because I was smaller than everyone else. Our first honor student called me `langaw’ and everybody laughed. They called me `unano’ and a host of other names to ridicule my size. To be honest, I didn’t know what the big deal was about. Okay, so I’m small. So effing what? But I was quiet. Nobody could make me cry in school. Deep inside, I knew that I really didn’t give a crap about everybody teasing me. I had a warrior in me that protected me from feeling less than everybody else. And that’s what I mean by summoning the warrior inside. Learn to fight to defend yourself from physical and emotional abuse. Learn to ward off all the ideas meant to make you feel small. Be strong. The strength is there in you. You just need to finally tap into it so you can never be bullied by anybody again.
GINO SAYS… Glad to know that we somehow helped you get through the bullying. I’m pretty sure that your bullies did a number on you, and obviously the fear is rational. Trust me when I say that I get what you mean because I went through something similar to what you went through. I had bad bullies too. But I totally agree with what your therapist says since you can’t always be in your comfort zone. Besides, there really are bullies out there in the world whether be it in school, or at work. There will always be people who will try to abuse their power and you will have to deal with them one way or another.
To be honest with you, I don’t exactly remember how I got over my fear of bullies and how I dealt with it since I didn’t have a step-by-step guide of how to do it either, and it didn’t happen overnight. I am sure of one thing though, when all of the bullying was happening I always told myself that one day I will be better than you (referring to the bullies) and that I will become someone one day. Success is the best revenge, or so they say. I used anger and vengeance as motivation for me to get over the bullying and to just go on with everyday life. It might not be the ideal situation but it worked for me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you have to find your strongest asset and work with that. Find your personal pillar of support and use that to overcome whatever it is that you have to.
I found that for me, anger gets me through a lot of things. Pain, suffering and even sadness. Use it to get out of the bind you’re in and then let go of it after. I’m not saying that you should bully them back or anything like that, but basically use what you have in yourself to survive. That’s pretty much just how the world works. For what it’s worth, good luck and just remember that all of this, all of what’s going on right now builds your character. Cliché as it might be, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
DEAR CHICO, DELAMAR, AND GINO… I’ve had a crush on my best friend Crystal for years now, and during the summer I finally mustered the courage to ask her out and see if our friendship can become something more. If things end up well, she would be my first girlfriend.
So far, our dates have been going really well, and I’m getting to know Crystal better and liking her even more. But one thing that has thrown me off is the fact that her brother seems to hate me now. I bring this up because her brother and I were friends before, or at least I thought we were.
I’ve thought of apologizing, but I don’t know what it is I did wrong for him to get angry at me in the first place. Would it be proper for me to bring this up on a future date with Crystal, or should I find a solution to this on my own? This is my first time to court a girl, so any advice from you guys would be really helpful. -Daniel
CHICO SAYS… You’re dealing with two relationships here; the one with Crystal and the one with your buddy. The first thing you need to find out is what is causing this friction between you and your friend. The most obvious would be the “date-anyone-but-my-sister“ rule. I know many guys who would freak out at the very thought of a friend dating their sister. There are many possible reasons why this is so. One, that guys know what guys do, and therefore wouldn’t want their own sisters exposed to the same shenanigans. Two, a friend is like a brother. So using simple logic, if you are his brother, and Crystal is his sister, therefore, you and his sister are also brother-sister, making the relationship incestuous. Third, maybe he is fine with the idea of a friend getting it on with his sister, just not you. Let’s face it, he does kind of reserve the right to choose which of his friends he wants to be his brother-in-law and which ones he doesn’t. Or who knows, it could be something completely out of left field; the point is, find out. Do it over drinks, or ask him straight up, it’s all up to you; whatever works within your dynamics. Other than that, it’s between you and Crystal. What other people have to say about it is merely peripheral.
DELAMAR SAYS… I don’t think there is any need to apologize. There is no wrongdoing. Technically, there is none. Except maybe that guys usually ask “permission“ if they want to court the sister of a friend. It’s a guy thing. If ever there was something he could cite as an offense that would be it. But it’s not really wrong that you didn’t ask since whatever romantic going on is between you and the sister. The brother, your friend, is out of the picture. Well, he should be. Of course, if you DID ask for his “permission“ things would just be easier. He would have had time to get used to the idea before he got time to get angry. Talk to Crystal. And then talk to the brother. Deal with the problem head on. Take control and “fix“ it. If it means unruffling feathers, then by all means do it. It just makes life easier for you and Crystal.
GINO SAYS… I guess it’s only normal for her brother to act like that for now. I’m sure he’s just being territorial and protective since you are going for his sister.
I think you shouldn’t mention it to Crystal first since you’ve only started dating and you don’t want her to be thrown off for now. Just keep on focusing on your dates first and fix things with the brother eventually. He might actually just snap out of it and remember that you guys were friends. You shouldn’t apologize for anything since you haven’t done anything wrong. The way I see it, since you and Crystal are just starting out, you don’t want her to feel as if there are already complications going on. That comes in later on in a relationship already. I guess what you want now is to keep things fun, light is to keep things fun, light and stress-free just to set the tone for things to come.
My advice is, enjoy going out on dates and having fun with Crystal. Don’t think of anything else first and just focus on that. Deal with the problems later. Now some people might think of this as a form of escapism but the way I see it, you did absolutely nothing wrong, so why fix it?
DEAR CHICO, DELAMAR, AND GINO… Jonathan and I have been friends since we were young – this friendship has been so long that we can practically finish each other’s sentences now.
During our last year in high school, people started telling me that we’d look good together as a couple, and right before graduation, Jonathan came out and told me that he’s attracted to me as more than a friend.
Any girl would be lucky to have him, as he’s really cute, funny, and smart. I see all of these things in him, and I appreciate it. But the problem is I’m just not attracted to him in a physical way. I can’t even imagine myself kissing him.
My friends tell me that I should give a romantic relationship with Jonathan a try, just to see if it will work. But a part of me is also worried that if the relationship doesn’t work, I will lose this really great friendship I have with him now. What would you guys suggest I do? -Patricia
DELAMAR SAYS… The way I see it, if there’s no spark, there’s no spark. In my opinion, if you don’t feel anything romantic at this point, then maybe it really just isn’t there. On paper you might be perfect for each other but if that hasn’t led you to feel romantic towards him already, then maybe you’re meant to just be good friends.
The heart wants what it wants. And although the brain may feel like you should be in a relationship with this guy because you get along so well, the heart doesn’t work that way. either you have feelings or you don’t. Don’t force it just because of sheer proximity and convenience. Love comes and goes as it pleases, with or without your permission. You can’t force it. You can’t will it. Leave it be is my advice. Trust me, should feelings spontaneously appear for you, you’ll know what to do. You both will take the leap that can not be denied. Such is love. In the meantime, if it’s not happening and all you have are excuses not to get into it, don’t. Friendship is great enough already as it is. If you can’t return the romantic feelings, don’t get into a relationship with him. Maybe you’ll change your mind later on, maybe not. For now, your heart says he’s a friend and just a friend. So, be a friend.
GINO SAYS… I don’t think you should give being in a relationship “a try.“ If you don’t find him attractive, then don’t go into it. I know people say that love is blind, and that you fall in love with a person because of who he is, and not because of how he looks. Yes it’s true that people will fall in love with people who are less better-looking than they are, but I’m pretty sure they’re STILL attracted to them in a way they probably can’t explain. Maybe the way you look at Jonathan is the way you see a brother, or a cousin, or something to that effect. But if you just can’t fathom kissing him, or just being with him in general, then do him (and yourself) a favor by not going for it.
Who knows? Maybe, someday he’ll get to change your mind, and you’ll find him attractive. Then you can’t think about maybe getting into a relationship with him. But for now, I think you’ll just end up hurting each other more if you “give it a try.“ At least, that’s my opinion.
If in the future, you do get attracted to him and that you can see yourself kissing him or being with him, then by all means go for it. Don’t let friendship stop you from doing so. Friendship is a great foundation to any relationship. Yes, there’s a chance that if you break up the friendship dies with it, but that’s a gamble I’d be willing to take. After all, love is a gamble, isn’t it? You might as well play hard to win big.
DEAR CHICO, DELAMAR, AND GINO… Channel and I started as friends. We began writing to each other as our way of communicating to avoid the attention of our classmates. I knew she really liked me because I secretly read her diary when I jokingly hid it from her. I like her too. That’s when our relationship deepened but not in a romantic way. I know I’m not ready for commitment and neither is she, because we just graduated from high school.
Lately, she told me that she will tell me something and asked me not to react and I agreed. The man she first loved will transfer to the school where she will be studying this coming school year. They used to be church mates. As agreed, I didn’t react. Honestly, I didn’t care about it. But, after that, she never texted me nor left any message.
I asked our common friend about her and she advised me that maybe she was just happy to see him again. I don’t know what to think and do. I send her messages all the time even if she’s not replying. But it’s been a while since she last messaged me. I’m worried that she doesn’t like me anymore, and that she and her first love might have started to communicate again and work out their relationship. Do I have the right to talk to her about this and how do I approach her? -Kean
CHICO SAYS… Who knows what thoughts or intentions lie in the minds of women? I see two very disparate scenarios that probably played out. First, she told you about her first love precisely for you to back off. She probably knew you liked her too, so she asked you not to react to her news because she wasn’t ready to address neither protestations nor professions of love from you. She wanted to break clean, and left you to clean up the loose ends on your own. But knowing women, the second possibility could’ve gone the complete opposite way. Maybe when she asked you not to react to her news, she was merely testing your resolve. Maybe she wanted to see if you really liked her, and just how much. Maybe she thought if you REALLY liked her, you’d fight for her tooth and nail at the threat of this new swain, ready to swoop down and take away from you your lady love. But you so easily conceding probably signaled to her the lukewarmth of your affections. Like I said, unless you can make sense of the labyrinthine puzzle that is the woman’s mind, I suggest you just speak your mind as plainly and honestly as you can muster, and leave the mind games to her. I mean, what is the worst that can happen? That she finally dumps you unconditionally? I would rather have that than have no idea what happened and be haunted by what-ifs all my life. Talk to her, it’s the only thing you can control on your end. And if, like in the Script song you get NOTHING, then so be it. You have the right to tell her how you feel, but she too has the right to answer or ignore you as she sees fit.
GINO SAYS… You will always have the right to talk about it. Don’t ever let anyone stop you from confessing your feelings or at least stating your intentions (unless they’re married, but even in some cases they still do that. Though that’s not something I’d condone). Talk to her and tell her how you feel before it’s too late, if it isn’t already too late. I hate to be harsh, but you have to keep an open mind that they might have worked things out. That’s the problem with waiting around, you’ll never know how long your window of opportunity will last. Carpe Diem.
Talk to her. Just be prepared for the answer that she might have for you. It’s no guarantee that when you open up you won’t get hurt, but at least at the end of it all, you still tried. Not trying at all is a much worse feeling than being dumped or rejected.
On the brighter side of things, she might just be ignoring you to get your attention. If she is, then good for you, I mean clearly it worked. But then again, this is all just speculation. Talk to her. That’s the only way you’ll get piece of mind.
DEAR CHICO, DELAMAR, AND GINO… My friend Lena has been in love with her high school friend for over three years now. I can say that they are close, they watch movies together, eat out, and go on trips with the entire group. I have been urging her to confess her secret love to him because I think there is something between them. Also, I know that he is the reason why she cannot like somebody else even if she has other suitors.
When Lena finally got the courage to tell him she likes him, he replied with “You are my ideal wife, but now, I still think like a teenager, I am not ready to be with you.“ What do you think this means? She always comes to me for advice, but I only have one thing to say: If a guy really likes you, he will move mountains just to be with you. If he doesn’t, then his reasons are like the stars, countless. What should I tell her? She has been waiting for him so long and I don’t want her to hurt anymore. -K
CHICO SAYS… I would tend to agree with your line of thinking. With the exception of a very, and I stress on the word VERY few men, most men would go for the girl they want, no ifs or buts about it, and just go for the prize. Men are not exactly known for their EQ, opting to gobble when they have the option to nibble instead. The whole “I’m not ready” bit is largely reserved for the women, who probably love the guy to bits already, but would act coy for the sake of their feminine wiles. Men don’t have the same penchant for hemming and hawing. I’d even daresay that if he really liked her, he wouldn’t even have waited for her to profess her love first. And even the most torpe of guys, once the girl does the job of taking out the guesswork, would gladly pick up the spoils. But you know what, she’d still probably stick around until he comes around. So you can give your honest two bits on the matter, because I doubt if it’ll make a dent in her resolve. I think only he can really put an end to this once he finds the courage to say how he really feels about her. But who knows, he might actually be one of those few men who are honest about their feelings?
DELAMAR SAYS… Tracy Chapman once sang, “A love prepared for days to come is as good as none.“ Nobody promises “I’ll love you when I’m ready“ or “I’ll love you in two, three, or four years.“ Either you love somebody or you don’t. And guys are the type who will go for what they want. If they want you, they’ll go after you. Besides, your friend is not asking this guy to marry her. It’s just at the boyfriend/girlfriend stage! To me, he’s just coming up with smooth excuses not to be in a relationship. It sounds like he’s complimenting her by calling her ‘ideal wife’ material. But really what he’s saying is that he does not want to be in a relationship with her. Whatever the reasons are behind those words, it’s the same result -he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with your friend.
I think you gave your friend the appropriate advice. She probably won’t take your advice because she’s in love with him. Just keep telling her what you’ve been telling her. She’ll let go when she’s good and ready. For now though, just stand by her even as she chooses to make a fool of herself because of “love.“ We’re all bound to do that at least once in our lifetime. We are all fools for love one time or another. But lessons will be learned sooner or later. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later for your friend.
GINO SAYS… What can I say, love is always complicated. I think that in this case though, either he just wants to keep her around as a back-up plan (as harsh as that might sound) or he still wants to play around. One of the reasons your friend is probably being neglected by this guy is because she’s just too readily available. Trust me when I say that whether you’re a guy or a girl, being too available is just not something that’s appealing to the opposite sex.
It’s difficult to pull away from a person when you like them, but at this point, if your friend wants the attention of the guy, I honestly think she should make herself unavailable. Yes, it’s a gamble because he might just completely forget about her, but at least it’ll help her move on either way. I mean come on, if you met the person that you really wanted to end up with, would you really let her go, with the risk that some other person will pounce on her or take her away?
My friends always tell me “mag pa miss ka naman.” In this case, I think that’s exactly what she should do.
DEAR CHICO, DELAMAR, AND GINO… All my life, I obeyed my parents. I have been a good student. I never went out with friends. I followed their every rule, even the course that they wanted me to take in college. I’m an incoming Medical Technology freshman student, a pre-med course. They want me to be a doctor. They are both doctors. It’s a dream, they say. They would be so happy if one of their kids becomes a surgeon someday. They would give all the support and send me to the best schools here and abroad.
Although I am inclined to Science, I don’t want to be a surgeon. I want to be a marine biologist. I’ve tried to tell them what I really want to become but they listen with closed hearts and minds. “You’re going to be a doctor and that’s final.“
I have two options for myself. First is to finish my first year in MedTech and then transfer courses or finish the course completely then transfer. If I have to pay for my non-medical education so be it. They don’t know my plans yet. If I tell them now, I know they won’t like it and probably disown me or something.
I really want to take charge of my life this time. Should I tell them now? What should I do? Please help. -Bernice
CHICO SAYS… I never take it lightly to tell someone to disobey their parents. As I get older, I realize that many of the things I’ve resented about my parents were all done with the best intentions. That doesn’t make the wrong stuff anymore right, but at least to know that they only thought of what was best for me, helped make the conflict a little less combative.
But in the end, it is your life to live, not theirs. I am a firm believer that it is not up to the parents to choose which course you should take, which job you should take, which person you should marry, and other choices of that ilk. Does it make you a bad daughter for flouting what THEY want YOU to take up? In my opinion at least, a very strong no. A person has a right to follow his own dream, no matter how disparate it is from the dreams of their parents. To be a surgeon is their dream, not yours. To force you to take a course of their choice and to withdraw support for any other course, is extortion, plain and simple. Wouldn’t they rather have you pursue a course that made you happy over what makes them happy? You’re the one who’s going to have to face the job you don’t like on a daily basis, not them. Have a heart-to-heart talk with them. They may completely ignore you now, but if they see how resolute you are about your true passion, to the point of paying for your own education, what kind of parent would deny their children that?
DELAMAR SAYS… Sometimes parents know better. Sometimes they don’t. Your parents could be right about the career path they want you to take. They might not. The thing is…and I know most parents WOULDN’T want to read this…but the path you take in your career is NOT their call. IT IS YOURS! So whether you are successful or not, you have nobody to blame except yourself. No parent wants their kids to fail. And the reason they insist you follow them is that they want to spare you from failure. Of course, that’s assuming they are right. So don’t fault them for being harsh in this regard. But in my opinion, whether they are right or wrong is immaterial to the issue. It’s your life. It is your career. It is your call. As a child, I think you will have to “fight“ for this, fight for your independence and insist that you know better what to do with your life.
My Dad wanted me to be a lawyer. How ironic, right? There wasn’t an argument about it. It was pretty much decided. But then radio beckoned. And everything after that is radio history. Even to this day, my father is afraid that when my “popularity“ finally fades, I will have nothing to fall back on. I love him for worrying about me. But this is my call. I’m happier doing our radio show everyday than I would ever be appearing in court or arguing a case. Maybe he’s still right. Maybe being a lawyer would be a more secure profession but doing what I do makes me happy. It gives me purpose. And no matter what problems are here or will arise later on because of my career decision, I will just have to find a way to make it work.
After you make your decision to follow your heart, it won’t matter if it’s the right or wrong decision. You’ll just have to make the RIGHT decision for yourself, come what may.
GINO SAYS… As sneaky as it might sound, I think you shouldn’t tell them about it for now. Finish MedTech and then do whatever you want to do. They might just make your college life a living hell should they find out what you plan to do. If they know for a fact that you’re not going to pursue their preferred course, they might not even pay for college all together. I know this sounds like a bad thing to do, but in my opinion, if they can’t listen to what you have to say then you make them listen. If they still won’t listen, then go ahead and do it anyway. Some people will argue that this is bad, and that this isn’t the right thing to do but the way I see it, you’re the one that has to live with your profession for the rest of your life. When they’re long gone, you’ll be the one stuck in a job that you don’t want to do only because you wanted to please them. It’s like marrying someone they chose for you, because as hard as it is to admit it, a job is pretty much something you’re also married to.
So I say for now, play it smart. Keep your head down and do what needs to be done when you have to.
DEAR CHICO, DELAMAR, AND GINO… Sam and I became a couple in high school, when he was a little bit heavier. It wasn’t something that mattered to me; I became his girlfriend because he’s smart, funny, and caring.
He got into running during our last year in high school, and it’s really gotten results. He lost 30 pounds, and I admit that it felt good to have other girls check him out when our families went to the beach this summer. This is why I feel really conflicted in complaining about his running now. Lately, everything that we ever seem to talk about is running. Normally, I wouldn’t mind, but we already jog together and I just want to take a break from it every once in a while. But it’s all he seems to care about these days. I miss the Sam that I could talk books and movies with.
I understand that his workout is important to him, and I don’t want him to stop, but I’m getting tired of having to hear about it every single time. How do I still support him in this without getting tired of it at the same time? -Isa
CHICO SAYS… I really don’t think it’s that big of a problem. It’s quite understandable if he’s smitten with his new hobby, one that has changed his health and consequently his appearance for the better. It can be quite addicting, especially when he’s getting amazing results. But I do understand your concern, your life with him becoming a one-trick pony. Maybe you can try and extend your patience just a wee bit longer, understanding his fascination with running. But every now and then, drop some subtle statements here and there about how you miss talking about other things, topics other than running. Don’t make it too heavy, like telling a dog lover he’s too into his dog, but more of a passing statement, one infused with a lot of lambing, more than sumbat. If you attack, then he becomes defensive. But if you come from a submissive position, he’ll relax and be more open to hearing you out. He needs to hear it too, especially if the fascination is turning into an obsession. Running is good, but hopefully not to the exclusion of the other things in life you both enjoy. Get this message across without getting into a fight, that is your mission.
DELAMAR SAYS… If you want to bring this up with your boyfie, I guess it would be better to just phrase it in a very malambing way. Instead of telling him he’s obsessed with running, tell him your love that he’s become passionate about running but that you miss the good old times when you talk about other stuff you both loved such as movies and books.
You have to be able to talk to your boyfriend about this. That is what relationships are about -being able to grow together even through changing interests. And that entails being able to tell him if he’s gone overboard with one part of his life and neglecting the other parts. There has to be openness and the feeling of being safe enough to tell your partner what you really think. Of course, being fit after being overweight for so long will have this effect on anyone. It’s like they discovered a new “power“ within themselves they never thought existed. So obviously, they’re on a high on this new discovery, and this new “self “ -the hotter side of who they are. So be a little gentle when you tell him that his obsession with running has overtaken your lives and relationship. He’s not going to like it if you “attack“ his new hobby. Don’t press him to hard about it. Just let him know your need for other interests in your relationship. Then give him enough space to address it. Hopefully, he hears that you miss the other parts of him and that in turn will give way to the change you want.
GINO SAYS… Have you ever talked to him directly about it? Maybe he doesn’t realize that it’s ALL he talks about. You can’t blame him if he’s so enthusiastic about something especially if it has benefited him so much. Maybe he’s just so passionate about it that he doesn’t notice that he’s been consumed by it. I’m sure that he finds it easy to talk about it with you because you’re both into it. He thinks you enjoy running as much as he does.
Try to break it to him gently. Tell him that you think that all your conversations are just revolving around running nowadays and that you’d prefer to talk about something else. Sometimes, it’s all a matter of just telling them straight up. Confronting a problem is best done directly, without beating around the bush. It’s just something that you can’t run away from. No pun intended.