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Like Brother, Like Sister
by Vladimir Rom Matias, LLB
Not For Sale


Unluckily, I don't have a younger brother with whom I can play boys' games with as I am already the youngest among the three boys in our family; fortunately, the Divine Providence gave me a reason to celebrate as he gifted me a younger sister almost as sweet, conversant , and playful as her foolish older brother who is me. As a matter of fact, her coming was not one of the astrologers' predictions and being previously the youngest in the unit, I was quite confident to win all my parents' love and affection because it is a common belief in the community that the youngest is not simply the apple of his parents' eyes but more importantly, a little prince occupying the most privileged position in the hearts of his forebears. But whether or not I was born the youngest to be accorded with the highest esteem and significance was not really the crucial issue, for as time passed by, the person who occupied that position in our family was not me nor my youngest sister. It is our bossy, belligerent and dictatorial oldest sister, her leadership regime marked by various forms of abuses, excesses, and villainy, who reigns supreme, manipulating almost everything starting from the nod of our mother to the fate of everyone of us. As a natural consequence, my youngest sister and I resented vehemently to such fascist attitude insomuch as her multi-faceted methods of cruelty always lead to human rights infractions, including but not limited to, public humiliation committed to us by her.

My youngest sister, a product of harsh familial environment and militaristic upbringing obey first without complaining rule - is actually shyer than I. Whereas I actively joined various school organizations and participated in almost all extra-curricular activities in order to make myself a better person or citizen of this nation, which, in my life, is an enduring personal motto, my sister does not take the first step to be involved, unless encouraged or prodded. Such a daredevil attitude of mine made me a frequent school representative to a math olympiad or science contest, a public speaker to indigenous people, talking in behalf of a charitable institution, a model not really with the finest looks to promote a friend's products of creativity, and a dancer pretending to be with psychedelic moves but whose memory faltered and drove himself out of the blues resulting to his own embarrassment. My youngest sister did not aspire for a place in the honor's roll in her high school class nor did she volunteered herself to fight for a cause of a social organization or entity. The problem in our family is that when a member stumbles and falls, my mother and oldest sister, instead of extending a helping hand to bring back normalcy, will join hands in kicking the fallen down the deep ravine of untold misery and ridicule. This is the very reason why sometimes my youngest sister, I and our other siblings are fearful to try new heights, for undesirable consequences await the derring-doer in cases of failure or disappointment

Well-settled is the rule that in order for one to love, he should start knowing its nature which is supposed to be learned initially in the family. But how one can exercise true love, when the creatures around teaches antagonism, hatred and other forms of evil. The Holy Bible told us: "We love because he first loved us. If anyone says 'I love you,' yet hates his brother, he is liar. For any one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen (1 John 4:19-20)."
Easy to read but difficult to practice. Positive laws encourages citizens of a State to petition its government for redress of grievances in case a person threatens the life, liberty and property of another. But brothers and sisters should first try to settle their differences amicably before pursuing battles via legal actions. Indeed, petitioning does not really make sense; a revolution of microcosmic attitude is a more viable way to end disputes and controversies.

My youngest sister is not the battle-ready type of woman who prepares a reconnaissance for the next round of hostilities. She finished elementary and high school just like an ordinary graduate, without any academic award to brag, except perhaps her top five honors finish in her elementary years in our native town of Claveria, Masbate. Unlike our cat Martin who spent all of his life inspiring us to grow bolder, she consumed most of her spare time during secondary school flirting with teenage boys, who just like her, are inexperienced in cultivating a longer-lasting romantic relationships. Came college years, she needed my help in understanding algebra and trigonometry, becoming a prepared freshman, and, facing bigger challenges.

As an older brother who already had just finished tertiary education, I was still possessed with an academic formula my search for which has a story on its own. I can still remember myself dancing my way to the De La Salle Library, and encountering a gorgon, whose ephemeral gaze might turn me into a stone, blocked my way in route to the target location. Some discreet treasure hunter hinted that a top secret lay hidden and buried deep in the library's sacrosanct bookshelves. As soon as I found it, I wasted no time deciphering the coded text, and storing every essential in a record book. This secret was actually the chemical formula for academic success which helped me bring the desired results I want on my college years. Immediately after doing my job, I hurriedly left the haunted colossus to meet a long-lost childhood playmate.

In addition to regular coaching and mentoring, I lent the record book to my youngest sister to guide her in her pursuit for collegiate classroom excellence. After four years of running back and forth from school to home, she equalized my feat. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: my sister too graduated with honors, a cum laude in one of the country's premiere universities. Thanks God. Thanks to De la Salle for the secret.

(For comments, email me at valentino200720@gmail.com. Thanks)

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