When I was in some places, people sometimes found annoying. And sometimes they took you for granted. I may have had encounters of this before. But I realize that too much of attention from them may find you a disturbing facts, “they really judge you for nothing.” Well at least something I come up some interesting issues I have to discuss for today. It’s about discrimination and some of the advices you will listen to my article today.


1. Elementary / High school / College


Normally I didn’t know the word of “sped” when I was in school days before. Schoolmates and some others called me “ahahaha, sped siya, ahahaha, sped siya! (ahahaha, he’s retarded, ahahaha, he’s retarded!)” But because I stood the wrong intentions, I came home crying and I have said it to my parents. What was this “sped” word? The word “sped” was short of special education. And I didn’t know the word throughout my life. But when I was studying in high school years, I have found out that I was feeling not okay. Everyday I walked in the classroom just to put down my bags and kept my things ready to study. Those times I was carried two heavy bags. One of my bag has contained school books and my other bag has school supplies. Well normally I did carrying my pens, notebooks, intermediate pad and some important things you should carry. I was not the type of a normal school teen who would carried a handbag materials (referring to the girls’ things like foundation and powder) and I have said to myself that I wasn’t giving myself an attention. I found it later during my sophomore year. My schoolmates still teased me somehow, normally all the lower levels than me. Because we were the first batch of high school have to graduate in the year of 2000. Then they realized that they stopped teasing me when teacher passed down the hallway and have to remain silent. The community back then was very small. Our batch in high school only consisted 18-21 students. And we were the only one section. Three years below have started two sections. And they have two batches during that time.


What I normally don’t stop knowing it? Because it keeps me going what I learn in the school. School provides education and education needs us to study in order growing up mentally, physically and emotionally. When we are finish in the education in the span of 18 years, we move up to the second level. That is where we have to start doing our job in return for our parents. After being that, we become adults and we are giving children to educate them. It’s a life cycle processing in our daily lives. And the country needs help from us in order to grow our education and the jobs have to provide us to sustain our needs. Back then including outside the school, the crowd saw me differently and judged mentally. And I was still remembering one grumpy old woman staring down on me in the church. I didn’t know if she was old woman but it was a lady. I was still 10 years old. And she said it to me, “How old are you?” Then I answered and said, “10.” “Really?” she asked again. “Yes,” I said it again. Then she nodded and gasped and asked firmly in her low voice and said, “You really should act like a 10 year old. But you are acting like a 2 year old kid. You are not toddler anymore.”


Those times I asked myself what I did that for a purpose. And during that time, my childhood entered a different direction. Entering fourth grade for me really gave me a goose-bumps. I looked to my pictures. Wearing eyeglasses in my eyes, my pants up to my waist and my shirt tucking up inside my pants really gave look like I was a nerd. And I kept repeating myself that I was really look like a nerd. Because of this show in television I saw keeps me remembering. That show was my favorite during my childhood and the line was and said, “help, help, I am falling and I can’t get up.” It really looked like a 70 show or something. But I really can’t remember the name of that show. There was something black pitch inside at the back of my head and I can’t remember. So after fourth grade came fifth grade. During fifth grade, my vision and my head started to pick up differently. I still remembered who my first crush was in my class and the first celebrity crush I have before.


Now I know what the term of “sped” is. It means retarded in english translated dictionary. People really start judging me at the same time I really don’t know. But I am glad that I know of this meaning today. Don’t ever call to the special children or special adults a derogatory word. It’s really that bad. If you can manage saying to other community, then you’re still wrong. Good company finds you good on you. If you go to the bad company you are going with, they are not referring you as a good person. Because that’s what I feel it about during my times. And I will discuss that later.


I have many good friends in college. This is not like any kind of university, it’s a small community school. This was Center for Culinary Arts or CCA where I enrolled to study culinary arts. Well of course, you cannot expect if you are not good enough. So my parents enrolled me in this small community school. Everybody I talked inside the campus and everyone I knew the names were the same treatment giving to me. But I didn’t expecting that too much. I took it whole-heartedly to finish the course but I wasn’t seriously getting to the top field like any honors do. I have made friends with two celebrities I have met in my life. One of them was a girl. And that girl was the daughter of Vic Sotto. So I thought giving me a best shot I could do. Nevertheless, I found later the right company for me, the batch I kept finishing together with them. They were some good and some others were not looking me seriously. But I said to them that I was different from the rest of them. And I have told my best friend in college not to judging me.


The lessons I learned:


I was afraid to accept who I was being having Down syndrome or special needs in my life. The friends I am making with them makes me comfortable. Don’t be afraid of who you are, instead give your chance to understand of who you are. As I have said earlier, “good company finds you good on you.” But later in my adulthood, I learned the fact this was not too late saying who I was and accepted the terms of who you are. Of course, everybody finds you different. Stand to yourself and be a true to yourself and say, “I can do this.” With the good strength, you will face the future with a good attitude. Strength considers your goal as your courage to stand up and face the reality.


2. After college years / in between jobs


I was curious at this level finding too much of difficulty times. And I have saying myself, “I can do this.” Sometimes I feel unknowingly feeling weaker. Yes, weaknesses finds you depressing and frustrating. You don’t have a job at the start after the college. Let me give you an advice, keep your position ready before your graduation starts. Have yourself with a good record, good performance and good attendance in the school. In the same way, you will manage have a job before your graduation ends. That is where your recommendation comes in.


But I don’t have a regular job the way I use going in and out at the end of the day. My jobs only lasts around 2-3 months. My first job was a chef assistant. Being as an assistant to my mom’s friend, we always have had a good time cooking and talking about the food stuff. Back then, I used going to Sampaloc, Manila where I traveled for one hour travel ahead of time. I was there early at the start of the morning. When I stepped down in Lacson Avenue going from Roosevelt-Quezon Avenue route, I managed walking down to the street for about 15-20 minutes going to the front of St. Jude Nursing College near the Dimasalang Street. I woke up early at the most of 5 am, then kept myself ready leaving the house before the school started. Because the school started normally early in the morning. My friend and I was already ready for the preparations for the cooking techniques what I have had in my mind. At that moment, I was already serving college students with fresh meals that has to be cooked. Of course, I made new friends that time. But the social media facebook wasn’t introduced to the Philippines yet. Only the communication tool of cellphone have already introduced during that time.


And I kept wondering myself why my friend put a store in front of the college. It was all nurses, midwifery and doctors who were studying there. And I have said to myself clearly. If I have a girlfriend someday, she might be a nurse for me knowing my conditions is. But I consider not looking for a love, I might reconsider her as a friend. During that time, I was scared and lost for somehow. Because commitment is where it starts for relationship to be last. The community was normally good. Of all the places I was been through, it was a pleasure to work somebody has to understand me. But I didn’t last to have a job there. My friend said to me that it was time to let it go. Somehow I couldn’t understood. After taking a job in 2004 and 2005 for about two months job again, it wasn’t place for me. Maybe I have to find a place to regain my strengths. I lost three times to make it longer. The last job I got only lasted in November 2005. After my boss ended up my contract at the half of my day, she instead gave me a look that I couldn’t got lasting my job enough. Instead going home earlier around 2 in the afternoon, my job ended around 6 pm in the evening. I watched a movie in Robinson’s Fairview. I needed to relax my mind and things were not easier for me to say to my parents that this could my last job.


The lessons I learned:


I was afraid taking jobs during that time. And I have guessed for me staying at home was better for me. People may have judged me but during those times, it was terribly bad and gone. Learning from my mistakes in the past doesn’t make you stop. It grows your heart to be stronger and mind to relax. But for me, I take it for years to practice going back to have a work again. I guess jobs are more challenging roles to sustain your income. And I finally learn that whenever I have mistakes, problems or challenges, it is possible to ask from Him above. And with Him above makes you stronger and immune from getting negatives. He makes you more positive to face your problems in the future.


3. Digital school / interests / networking


After I have been through my problems before, there goes another features of my life. I began loving to draw characters, simply watching television cartoons and animations. Then same goes to my problems. I need it how to draw like in animation does in the same way. Then I asked my parents if I study digital school in Makati. After what I have done not doing practicing with my culinary skills for a long time, I have managed to get another course in my life – a digital arts school. The interests in my past gave me another way studying what I liked most of my time.


I have done few characters, main characters I drew most of my time. But I didn’t know how to draw a Japanese character. So instead, I adapted my habits drawing in different way. Mostly I called them of my unique drawings. When I entered digital school since October 2006, I began studying the human anatomy and the digital aspects including where I watched most of the digitalized films. Since then, I began a game addict again. I stopped playing online and browser games since the 2009. Somehow I learned the basic adobe softwares back when I was in digital school. But one software I really liked most was Adobe Illustrator where the calendars, greeting cards and brochures were made in the Illustrator software. I also liked the Macromedia Flash where you can learn how to draw comes alive in animation. Giving you the best you can makes you comfortable. Normally I didn’t get a perfect score back when I was in elementary, high school and college years. But I didn’t know I can make it a perfect score. With an astounding score of 100, my Valentines greeting card got an awesome perfect score. Our computer instructor gave me a score, but the school records doesn’t want gave me a transcript record. Somehow I lost interests finishing the course. Because I both lost two flash drives. One flash drive lost somewhere when we moved to Cainta. And one flash drive lost when my friend incidentally lost my flash drive.


I stopped studying in digital school when I learned I also have had migraine. It was the July 2007 making me stop. It really happened so fast. My parents have said to me after we watched Die Hard 4 in Promenade, Greenhills, I became epilepsy. I wasn’t aware that I could gain some of unexpected illness. Migraine was the last sickness that I have had during my life. And after that, I became stable and okay doing what I was usually doing in my daily life.


It wasn’t keeping me stopping there when I went going back to the digital school in August 2010. I regained my knowledge doing digital stuff in my best what I can. I learned now how to use the Adobe After Effects software where you can learn how to use the magic digital effects either in movies, television shows and commercials. My flash drive items were the items stored in the second flash drive that lost in my unbecoming friend. So somehow, I lost my interests gaining back to draw. That friend was a cousin from my cousin’s side.


Going to networking or multi-level marketing company made a wrong move. Besides on the good side, I have gained new friends again. Some of them became my friends until now. Some of few didn’t last. I gained the knowledge how you will work the money multiplying (or leveraging). June until October 2011 made me realize how my family was more important than my job in networking. Their attitude was not good in terms for the big community. Their derogatory discrimination words used in networking were mongee (short for mongoloid) and abnormal. I also learned from their community where you managed how to keep good people from bad people. But at the back of my head stopped thinking about their thoughts were bad enough telling me. But of course, I still believe what I normally do.


The lessons I learned:


Don’t go to the bad company makes you miserable. And somehow they will erase your mind not going home for their entity of their bad deeds. At least I learned from my experiences. And don’t go the community where you can hear the derogatory words. People like them are not your community in your daily life. Choose good company where you can see how few people will treat you good. Not as people like them somehow erases my mind to think about. Maybe a little less or mostly none, but you need to be extra careful choosing friends.


The conclusion:


After networking, I found right and good community. I learned that I have relatives in each side of my parents’ family roots. My father’s roots has Veloso lineage. My uncle Danny Javier was my father’s first cousin. He has also Veloso lineage. Other relatives I have are Mark Bautista (from Cagayan De Oro), Pilar Pilapil (from Cebu) and Dingdong Avanzado (from Siquijor) in the same Veloso lineage. And I discover that I also have politics blood. President Sergio Osmena‘s relatives also have cross to Veloso lineage. In my mother’s side, I also learned that I discovered First President Emilio Aguinaldo was our great grandfather. Lolo Miong that he was being called in the movie of El Presidente. The person who found me way finding Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines was a friend of my cousin in the side of Veloso lineage. It was January 2012 when I found out that she was a volunteer student from Davao chapter of Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines. And a month afterwards, I was aware accepting myself having with Down syndrome since 2011. So last two months was a success when I finally became a member of the organization. I love of who I am and what achievements I have. Be the best of who you are and never give up your success story.