If ever you’re a non-Filipino friend or a visitor who happened to click this post, the title roughly translates to: “To those who are not goodlooking” :P
It was quarter to six in the morning, quite too early for me honestly, but I had to head out of the house and catch the earliest bus I can for a 3hour-ish trip back to our hometown and attend my little brother’s moving up ceremony.
Since I would go straight to the ceremony, I decided to do my make up and not have to arrive looking all haggard, panda eyes and all. I was able to hop on to a bus quick as soon as I was at the stop and what happened next was the reason for this blog post.
The conductor nicely said in Filipino/Ilocano combined…“Here you can sit infront (which is by the way one of the most comfortable seat for me because hello leg space).”
I was grateful but then he said, “only those who are pretty can sit infront” he chuckled adding, “those who are not get to sit at the back”
Aww. :( That was like a bomb that dropped in my lap. I couldn’t believe he said that. Ofcourse, he might have been just joking right?
Then the bus driver told him, “Don’t be like that.” I was relieved, staying silent. But to make me cringe more the conductor replied, “No, really. Look at those I sat at the back, ‘nagpapangit da’ (they are so unsightly/not good looking).”
I was crushed. I thought to myself, ‘good for you girl, you decided to put some make up on so you can somehow look presentable at 5:45 in the morning so you were able to pass this uncle’s standard who gets to sit in front or not.’
Maybe the conductor was just really joking. Maybe I’m just being too sensitive. But this hit me to the core and I want to speak out. Not because I just want to give the conductor my two cents worth of sermon or because I simply want to overplay what happened. I treated the conductor as nicely as I can all throughout the trip and won’t mention the bus company’s name because this is not about getting back after him or any sort :)
This is about addressing how we, myself included label people this or that and treating them accordingly.
I had a very pretty bestfriend in high school and some schoolmates made a name for us ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Yup she was the beauty, I was the beast. I decided to forgive who said that and those who bullied me for my appearance. I speak blessing in their life but to say the least, it truly made me feel very very ugly in the past.
I can honestly say to myself, I’m not pretty if I would to compare myself to the Kardashians, the lovely korean female leads, Pia Wurtzbach, much less Belle.
I have the oiliest skin–if not for those heaven sent oil blotters I’d be a walking human reflector. I have a flat, huge button nose. Some people think i have cute freckles across my face at first but they are actually unsightly warts. I have wide spaced teeth which I need to fix with braces soon. I am not at my healthiest weight. I have a lot of scars in the legs, I can consume a whole bottle of concealer just to hide them. My kinky, wiry hair becomes this one large puff if I let them down. You may think I am coming from a low self esteem now but I believe I am not. Because, reality is I am all of the above, physically. If I don’t properly fix my hair, apply some loose powder and whatnot, I’d honestly look one unsightly mess, I myself would have a headache just looking at myself.
I can be what you call “pangit” if I don’t clean myself up to be a good representative of Who I am representing.
And maybe this is why I took it hard when that conductor made his remark. Because I know how to be called “pangit” and be treated poorly just because I am not as pretty as the girl beside me.
So if you have been called “pangit” or think you are “pangit”, I want to tell you…
You may be unsightly in the eyes of others. You may be unsightly in your very eyes. But you are never unsightly in the eyes of Your Maker, Your Heavenly Father.
Even if your physical appearance may not be the same as of those the ones they call beautiful, stunning or gorgeous, take comfort beloved, you didn’t need to be like them in the first place. You may look different, but why does that have to matter? If everyone of us looks all and the same, I personally think that’s a bit boring, don’t you think so too? ;)
People may treat you differently from the rest just because they don’t personally prefer you and well we can’t do much about that can we? It’s after all their personal preference, but you can be secured dearest because You have Someone who thinks you’re the most special because it was His fingers that made You, put you together in Your mother’s womb bit by bit, part by part.
I could imagine the warm smile He had on His lips when He was forming You knowing you’d be one of a kind, unique, lovely. People may treat you harshly but it’s only because they don’t see your true worth. But Him? He knows…for in Him, you are. You are His, and that’s the grandest value you could ever have.
I was reading 1 Peter this morning and I came across an all too familiar verse yet the power of its exhortation never becomes too familiar for me…
3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:3,4)
external? doesn’t really matter.
but with what’s on the inside? ah. now we are talking.
Lord, teach me to always work on how my heart looks like. teach me to value what’s on my inside rather than how I look on the outside. Dear Jesus, teach me to begin looking at people the same way you look at them–at their hearts and not on their appearance. Give me Your heart to value them for who they are in You–loved, precious, adored. And I praise You because I am too, in Your sight.