My name is Marika Editha Callangan, author of this ‘sub-blog’, my main blog being PROJECTRIKA. I was born here in the Philippines on June 6, 1990, but migrated to Tokyo, Japan when I was age 3. My kinder years were spent in Tokyo Union Church in Ometesando and my grade school years were spent in Santa Maria International School in Nerima. Because of being exposed to an American-based schooling system, English has always been my first language, and I never really took the time to learn the Japanese language. Then when I was in Grade 6, my mother decided for me and my brother to return to our country of origin so that we could learn the Filipino language, the Filipino culture and the Filipino way of life. I learned most about what I can about the Manila and the Philippines as a whole in my alma mater, Colegio San Agustin, Makati. Again, because of my language setback, I was first placed in the “Foreigner’s Class” and so, most of my closest friends up to now consists of Indians, Iranians, Koreans, Americans, and multiracial people. Right now though, I am currently a third year college student from De Lasalle University – Manila, taking up major in Communication Arts and I really love how the setting I am placed in so diverse because there’s so much more you can explore and there’s so many people you can have the chance to meet. And this is always such a wondrous feeling.
When I was 4 years old, my mother placed me in a ballet class. 3 months later, I remember screaming and thrashing about how I hated ballet and how I never wanted to enter a ballet studio again. When I entered Santa Maria though, where part of the curriculum was dance classes, I suddenly found myself loving to dance and I remember begging and convincing my skeptical mother about how she should enroll me in the afterschool dance classes, just to give me something to do. She agreed and I have been dancing since then. When I arrived in Manila, I was so frustrated because I didn’t know where to dance anymore. The dance clubs in school always disappointed and frustrated me to death. However when I was in 2nd year high school, I was able to discover STEPS Dance Studio and danced there for 2 full years. I first took up Jazz classes and then Modern/Contemporary dance and finally Ballet. Our concerts would be held in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, both the Little and Main Theater and I always loved the old grandeur of that theater. It was a sacred placed for me. STEPS gave me the opportunity to meet another wide range of people, and there I met my first boyfriend there, who completely gave me my first major disappointment in life ever. After that breakup, I somehow ended up leaving STEPS and not returning. I took a break from dancing during my senior year in high school. When I entered college though, I auditioned for the La Salle Dance Company – Jazz (under the Cultural Arts Office) and got accepted. I returned to dancing and remained with the company for 2 straight years. But in those 2 years, I underwent much hardship, pain and lessons that extended from the dance floor. I have never known, seen and endured so much betrayal and corruption. There, I also met a different set of people who taught me so much about life and who taught me the different sides of how people can be. Because the damage was so heavy, I left the company and never danced again. I realize that I am still traumatized by all that happened by the actions that I do and how I think and how I go about things. I have changed so much because of everything that’s happened in the previous year. Although I no longer dance, I used to the time to discover more about myself and I found that I have an exceptional love and talent for fashion. It’s something that I realize was always a part of me, something that not everybody understands but something that I appreciate.
I learned most about life here in the Philippines. I have long realized that I am someone who is not really meant to fit in a crowd and that no matter what I do I will always stand out. My personality was molded in this country, and I am stronger woman today than I was yesterday. I am independent, blunt, liberal, passionate, random and animated. I say it how it is, and I express myself through my fashion. I especially love to laugh at everything and nothing. I love the little things most people take for granted because it makes you appreciate life so much more. I love exploring and finding random things. I love trying out new things and finding many ‘first times’. Someday, I’d love to travel the world and meet different kinds of people and learn from them. Words move me and people can make a difference in my life. People say that I am such an interesting person. But I am only interesting because I am interested and I think that’s always important when it comes to dealing with life. Being apathetic and ignorant makes you miss out on life. And living in fear restrains you. So I live day by day to the fullest, letting everything come my way because I need to experience everything, good and bad.
“The unthankful heart…discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” – Henry Ward Beecher