I am the eldest among us 5 children in our family. I have my Sister Rhea who is just a year younger and whom I grew up with for the longest time. The middle child is my sister Rica who was born 10 years after followed by my only brother Ron and our youngest sister, Ruth.

If you were to look closely, my parents patterned our names in ascending order based on the consonant RA in the Filipino Alphabet. Thus, we have “RA-RE-RI-RO-RU”. I guess if we were 12, we could have had our next siblings named after SA-SE-SI-SO-SU. Well, it actually sounds like Hiragana of Japan. Hehehe.

Being the eldest, I have always been the single-point-of-contact for all concerns. I have always been a frontliner and often I take all the blame in behalf of my brother and sisters. I was reared to be responsible for them at all cost. Besides, that’s how “BIG BROTHERS” should always be. Right?

As I grew up, I took this “BIG BROTHER” image with me in school. I became a leader and often I would end up fighting for someone. I was a bully I admit but I have never started a fight just because I wanted to or in defense to myself. I had fights with bigger people in defense of friends and classmates who were smaller and weaker then.

Perhaps, I have watched too much SUPERMAN, BATMAN and ASTROBOY then. I was trying to be like them saving people and carrying the whole world when I am not. Growing as the eldest had given me the skills to lead, to speak out and to stand by my own decisions with conviction and passion. I grew up strong and somewhat stubborn!

I was into this “SAVE THE WEAK, SAVE THE WORLD” thing until I was into college and joined a law-based fraternity in the University of the Philippines, a state university known for breeding leaders, nation-builders, activists and radicals as they say. I began writing more though I started writing way back in grade school and I started voicing out.

Soon, I entered marriage and had my own family. I also began working. I started heading teams and managing projects. I conceptualized and developed business solutions to make work easier and convenient for people. At the end of the day, I found myself more into advocating other people’s welfare than mine.

What came next after this was already written in a prior blog. I fought with people but in a way professional. I started thinking outside the box and selflessly took all the risk just to advance the need and concerns of my team and fellow employees. I forgot about my career though I was actually doing well going up the ladder.

Simply, I was enjoying what I do and I thought I could always be a BIG BROTHER to people around me until one day, I realized that I also have to fight for my own needs and wants. I also have a life of my own to advance. I have dreams and ambitions. I have a career and a family to take care of. I have to be a BIG BROTHER to myself.

So now I have to start being one to myself. Today marks the day where I have to take care of myself. I have to make sure that the BIG BROTHER in me gets to take care of ME the same way that he has taken care of others. I need to start fighting for myself if I want to win my battles for others.