Clandestine lives

There are three JOHNS. 1) The REAL JOHN; known only to his Maker. 2) JOHN'S ideal JOHN; never the real one, and often very unlike him. 3) THOMAS' ideal JOHN; never the real John, nor John's John, but often very unlike either. 
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Autocrat of the Breakfast-table

Throughout the course of our life, we try to discover who we really are. Because it is knowing who we are that we may know the things that could satisfy our every needs. But who among us can, without even an ounce of doubt, say that he truly knows his own self?

In this very social world where one of our aims as residents of this world is to exist in harmony, we tend to create different personas to handle different characteristics and personalities we encounter in a daily basis. This reflex, sometimes voluntary action, is rooted in our ability to adapt to certain situations, especially if our survival is at stake.

However, in doing so, we create different layers that unconsciously hide our true self and hinder it from resurfacing again. We get lost in the masks that we wear that we forget which one is real and which ones are fake. What started as masks will soon become a whole outfit of lies creating another persona in our lives.

Clandestine lives. I believe everyone will agree that even once in their lives, they have lived secret lives aside from their own lives. Some may project their fame and rich resources, and others become the opposite of what they currently are.

I began to wear a mask when I realized that I was different from other boys in school. I saw how they tease the ones who were effeminate and showed unmanly mannerisms. For someone who is very self-conscious and introverted, it's very important for me that I be left alone in peace.

Now I realize that throughout my life since I first put on a mask, I became more confused of who I really  am. In the hopes of finding my real self by trying out new stuff, I just got buried in my own lies and began losing my very identity. Sometimes its fun to be a different person in certain situations with different sets of friends. But there would always come a time that the mind will grow tired and all your other personas will leak out.

Everyone has their own secret lives hidden behind their rank, attitude, or social status. But I guess what's most important is that we do not lose sight of who we really are, or at least who we're made to be. We should hold on, tightly, to the very principle and belief that made us who were are for most of the people who know us. And we must always be prepared and accept at eventually all our masks would be taken off. 


  1. Well said. I chose to wear the mask of apathy so that I can protect myself from the feeling of suffering and to keep people from knowing what's going on in my mind. In the end, I hurt myself, as no amount of apathy can numb the heart.

  2. To Basti:
    for some, unveiling the mask would be losing oneself.

    in the end they keep losing someone, in trying to preserve themselves.

  3. ang galing mo naman sa english post... sana matutunan ko rin...hehehe... well written... minsan lang ako maka-aapreciate ng english post pero ang isang ito ay sapul...kaka-relate..

  4. one indication for me na i wore a mask in some event or whatever, is that when i get home and be alone with myself, i have the feeling na pagod na pagod ako. i try to stay true to who i am as much as i could, but not compromising myself as well.

  5. Basti: Thanks! I like what you said: No amount of apathy can numb the heart.

    Victor: Yes, I've experienced that as well. I regretted that time when I turned my back on someone just because I am trying to hide something from everybody else.

    Senyor: Salamat. Minsan lang din ako makapagsulat ng english na may sense. Siguro dala na rin ng damdamin at inspirasyon. Magagawa mo rin yan. :)

    JM: I can relate. Like you just want to drown yourself in silence and reflection para maalala mo kung sino ka.

  6. I wore a mask too but it was suffocating. I felt ill wearing it. Now it's off and I can breathe and I can be me :)

    Our masks fall off eventually. Well written Hustin, apir! :)

  7. Dave: (FC na agad :P) Dinugo ako dun ah. Napa-google ako bigla. hehe. Ganda naman yan. Ganda rin siyang ipa-tatoo :D salamat sa pagbisita

    Zai: I hope to feel the same freedom and relief. Salamat! :)

  8. anung FC lol

    actually naging tag line sya ng Lacoste noong 90s hehe.. di ko na nakalimutan

  9. Dave: FC = feeling close hehe

    ahh really, ganda talaga e. gandang tatoo yan sa dibdib