What Is Maruja? (post 1)

7 09 2005

They call me maruja. I was baptized by that name when I was a college freshman. During my apprenticeship at a theater organization, the senior members–by the “seniority” power vested upon them–began calling all new male members, gay or otherwise, with female names. Some guy was called Wynona, another was named Jaya, while I got the name maruja (muh-ROO-ha).

It’s based from an old Filipino movie “Gumising Ka, Maruja” (which translates to “Wake Up, Maruja”), about a woman reincarnated after a hundred years searching for her one true love. As I think about it now, perhaps I was fated to be called as such, since I had a searching of my own. More of that in the coming posts.

The name was stuck to me for years. I was sort of popular (or sort of infamous) along the university hallways, to the point that some students thought that maruja is my real name. I considered it as my lucky charm, as I used it as my pen name for my first stage play. It won third place, the only awardee from the play category during the 1997 university literary competition.

I still use it until now, whenever I interact with the people belonging to the sub-branch of the society tree called fashionistas. Call it a screen name for an aspiring social climber, I don’t care.

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