Blog 166 > Asian Pride & Perfection

Saturday, Sept 27th, 2008 > Happy 39th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!… After reading Mimi’s recent blog post ~ Asians Can Be So Competitive ~ in the light of my parent’s anniversary tomorrow, I guess I wrote a reply not only to her post, but to myself as well. So please read her post first to get the full context of my thoughts below, lol.

LOL, someone’s gotta check if Asians are biologically “cursed” with the “piano” gene, haha. ^_^

Yep, I took weekly lessons from about age 10 thru 14, together with my brother from age 7 thru 11. Luckily, we were never strictly forced, which probably explains why I never practiced till an hour before the lesson, lol. The only song I can remember is “Yesterday” by the Beatles, can’t play it entirely well, but it’s still my fave from those days. Plus, piano helped me learn notes and keys and such. I guess we started cuz our Mom still played beautifully at the time, probably still does now…

Beyond that, I thrived on high-school competition (except maybe with my high-school crush, lol). Loved football and softball in gym class. Became a star Mathlete. Took half-a-dozen AP classes. Still earned 97.6% grade average as Salutatorian. Scored a decent 1250-1300 on my SATs. Then when I entered New York’s RPI amidst a crowd of super-achievers, it hit me like a cement truck. I was just another average Joe Freshman, lol. Hence, I humbly abandoned the pursuit of perfection and tried to have more fun, lol. Yet despite it all, my Mom and Dad never forced or cursed or yelled. They supported me whatever I decided. I guess I was lucky.

But forget about me. Try to imagine the Philippines in the 1960’s. If I recall correctly, my Mom was Yearbook President, I believe Class President, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was Prom Queen (haven’t asked her but she was definitely pretty enough), and on top of that, a “virtual” Valedictorian. I say “virtual” cuz due to some so-called grade miscalculation error (or she suspected, probably cuz she was female), the title of Valedictorian was given to the next guy. And she was so upset, she boycotted her own graduation ceremony! How cool is that!

Although she planned on Industrial Engineering, she decided on a whim to see if she could enter Medical School. And she did, lol. Eventually, this high-class beauty from a local political family met the hard-working class-clown from a farming family, my Dad, lol. Here’s a pic of my Mom and Dad at the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines, the College of Medicine, Class of 1967, a couple years before they got married. Here are a few more pics and videos I took last year, lol. Hard to imagine, this Sept 27th, tomorrow is my parent’s 39th wedding anniversary, wow. Forty years later, Dad’s retired but Mom’s still a practicing New York physician, whoa.

So who knows? Asian competition and “the pursuit of perfection” is probably as old as Asian pride and honor. Maybe there’a a “piano” or “pride” gene, lol. In any case, some parents (like my Mom) are open-minded and supportive, other parents (like my Dad) want their kids to achieve a little more than their brother’s or sisters’s kids, but in this (non-feudal) day and age, some parents just take it too far…

P.S. A-ha! IQ score of 156, haha. Loved those math problems! Plus nice to know I haven’t lost my edge. ^_~

Free IQ Tests – Free IQ Tests

8 thoughts on “Blog 166 > Asian Pride & Perfection

  1. @All: P.S. After talking with my Mom, I clarified a few details, lol.

    At the notable Nueva Ecija High School (in Cabana Tuan City in Nueva Ecija Province, Philippines) in the 1950’s, not only did she become a senior at the age of 15, but she also wrote articles for the yearbook, was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, and earned a Salutatorian-rank grade average. However, due to her outspoken nature against questionable teaching attitudes, her willingness to walk-out on those teachers’ classes, and the school’s political atmosphere, the votes of several teachers dropped her from a class rank of #2 (Salutatorian) down to #4 (Second Honorable Mention). When the news hit her ears, she pulled all of her articles from the newspaper, pulled four or five more from the yearbook, and let her Dad take her home so she could boycott the graduation ceremony! In fact, the Principal even had plans to stop her graduation!

    Fortunately, her Valedictorian friend was able to lend a hand. His father was not only the Mayor, but also the Principal’s lawyer, haha. Apparently, not only Mom’s ranking, but the ranks of two other students in the top #10 were also in question. So with the Principal facing a potential investigation, both the Valedictorian and his father were able to keep a lid on the boiling situation, and prevent a scandal from bursting onto the Provincial level. Wow, hahaha. Amazing stuff! What’s funny is when she flew back to the Philippines earlier this year of 2008 to meet with her old high-school Class of 1959, her old Valedictorian friend showed her the yearbook she never received. Apparently, she neglected to pull one of her yearbook articles! LOL. >_<

  2. Wow what a story! Haha that shows her principal! It sucks that she wasn’t valedictorian (for a dumb reason) but hey that was only 3-4 years of her life. :) Hmm there must be some genetics behind Asians and piano. xD It’s funny cuz even my classmates are surprised to find out that the national piano winner this year was a white guy! Glad you abandoned that perfectionist image.. hehe there’s so many of those “if i don’t get 2400 on the SATs i will crawl in a hole and die!” type of people where i live. xD But they will realize soon enough. Anyway, great job on that IQ test thing! We’re the smartest otaku so far! LOL

  3. @Mimi: Ah, slight fix if u saw my P.S. comment; politics aside, Mom should’ve been Salutorian not Valedictorian. At the age of 15-16! >_< LOL, thanx, I think I abandoned "perfectionist" and aimed for plain "geek", haha. Say what??? It's now 2400? Back then, it was 800 Math + 800 English for a total of 1600 max. Ah wait, they added another 800 for something else, didn't they? LOL, thanx again. I loved those 2x+3 sequence problems, hehe. But is "smartest otaku" a title worth having? LOL ^_^

  4. That’s really neat! >.< Haha they added a writing section to it. Plus an essay. ;_; Certainly it wouldn’t be great to have the title as “dumbest otaku” would it? xD So i guess being smart isn’t necessarily a bad thing..

  5. Yo~ I haven’t been around in a while so I’m making my way around everyone’s blogs xD;; Please excuse my [very] late comments orz…

    Your mum was really pretty~ *o*, I bet she still is tho ^_^, congrats on their anniversary fwee~ (~^o^)~*

    IQ test~ I took the one at, got 138, will try the one you did some other time xD;

  6. @Koshiko: No problem, I only post on a weekly basis nowadays. Who has the time?… Thanx, lol… And no worries, no hurries, these IQ tests are all in good fun anyway. ^_^

Comments are closed.