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    This Is Not A Love Song
    [Nouvelle Vague - Soulmate OST]

    / EMBERS

    v1. flown into the night
    v2. beneathesurface
    v3. twilight
    v4. transitio
    v5. heaven
    v6. symmetry
    v7. great divide

    ♠/ LAYEE Credits
    designer: darkdegree
    partofthecodes: detonatedlove
    images: moargh
    textues: peachinparis
    icons: threemoresteps

    Friday, December 30, 2005


    *credits to istoyk for this beautimous creation

    Thousands trooped to ABS-CBN, but only a few were chosen. And among the 13 hopefuls, there could only be one.

    After 111 days of swimming inside the 1400 sq m aquarium that is the Pinoy Big Brother house, Jennivev Tamayo has indeed shown the entire viewing public who she really is and what she's capable of ("sa tingin ko, naipakita ko na kung sino talaga ako at kung ano ang kaya ko," Nene, on why she should be the Big Winner, as aired during The Big Debate).

    She ran the race with the discipline of an athlete -- strong in mind and in body, with a focus spurred on by a fiery determination and a competitive spirit, both fueled by passion and tempered with reason.

    She fought the battle with the dignity of a warrior -- courage under fire and grace under pressure, knowing when to thrust and parry and when to retreat.. a comrade in arms in victory and defeat.

    She faced life's challenges with the resilience of a true Pinoy -- with a smile and a song, by never giving up when things go wrong.. by living and learning and fighting to be strong.


    From the onset, Nene did not contrive to sweet talk her housemates into liking her. She was not the maternal figure nor effusive with girlbonding kind of talk. In fact, she had a brusqueness to her and it was efficiency and authority that radiated off of her petite frame.

    Easily the most flawless among the females, she could've played on her physical allure to get a leverage of sort among the guys and over the more aesthetically drawn masses, but instead, she was no-nonsense about it and mantained a no fuss and frills attitude.

    Nene also needed no rescuing from the guys -- no task is too "manly" for her not to manage, thereby, not fitting the bill of the damsel in distress and not feeding the hero complex of her male housemates in the process.

    But oddly enough, Nene was not a popular choice for the *ehem* Annoying Housemate award. From the nomination trend to ongoings inside the house to testimonies of evicted housemates, it was pretty apparent that for all her astig bluster and driven nature, this kumander was not lacking in the pakikipagkapwa factor.

    The housemates drew on her strength and relied on her resourcefulness and sharp mind. They were buoyed by her optimism and positive vibes, inspired by her zeal, and amused by her quirks and her boundless energy.

    She was not the only dominant personality who entered the PBB House, but hers was the leadership that no one contested. She commanded attention not by being the loudest or being the most persuasive but by leading through example -- being both the hardworking teamplayer and the overseeing kumander.

    For one thing, she's very balanced. She knows when it's time for work and time for play, when to speak up and when to listen, when to fight back and when to concede, how to be both leader and friend, and how to deliver well meaning fraternal correction without being rude and offensive.

    Over time, she has won the friendship, admiration and respect of her fellow housemates. Admired, crushed on, idolized, trusted.

    Primetime television has not smiled kindly on Nene during the early days either. Not given to theatrics nor incessant whinings, she was also not taken to stealing the limelight from other people nor to orchestrating scenarios to create mileage or gain sympathy. Low profiled Nene was kept to a next-to-none exposure and it was her more controversial and attention-seeking housemates who got all the airtime and were touted as the early favorites.

    But as the weeks turned into months, her consistency became a fixture in the PBB house and her industrious, creative and determined nature swam to the surface. It's like the more you see her, the layers begin to unravel and the better you realize that there's more to her than the commando persona that was first introduced when PBB made its debut.


    One, there's nothing "nene" about her but her name. She's not the naive, helpless stereotyped little gurl but one who stands tall and stands proud. She did not let her emotional handicap cripple her outlook in life. If not, it has made her even overcompensate on making other aspects of her stronger.

    She's got a good head on her shoulders. A lot of smarts there to go with the pretty face. She dispenses with empty chatter and goes for deep discussions and meaty one-liners. Intellectual yet streetsmart and grounded in reality.

    She may be strict and formal in the ways her military training has accustomed her to but there's certainly nothing brusque or rigid in the way she rules the dance floor. She wouldn't be called Dance Diva cum Nenergizer for nothing.

    And just because she doesn't spend the entire time putting gunk on her face (especially when she's got nothing to cover up in the first place) doesn't mean there's no kikay glam to her. It just so happened that she's not your average girlie who's averted to getting sweaty, down & dirty and baked under the sun.

    She's got big, strong unladylike hands. But who knew that those working man's hands are just brimming with artistry? Be it in crafts, sketching, designing, and even hairstyling, her creativity knows no bounds.

    And the list of her talents just goes on and on. Without her, would the ever so famous Pinoy Ako choreography ever been born and presented as it is? Even her poetic proficiency in lyrical Tagalog came in handy after Bob translated Sam's English poem into Filipino.. or Magmahal Muli wouldn't be the finetuned version we're hearing right now.

    Moreover, she thinks outside the box. Let not the inavailability of resources (ie. chopsticks and coffee as pen & ink substitutes) nor the complexity of any task (all three attempts to rescue Witch, for starters) pose a hindrance. Improvisation is her (other) middle name.

    She operates on a sense of justice. She knows they're playing a game and she's going for the win like the rest of them but she resorted to no underhanded tactics or emotional blackmail. Winning ain't winning if the game ain't played fair and square anyway.

    Others tugged on the heartstrings of their fellow HMs and of the masses, on needing the prize to support their family or highlighting their impoverished lifestyle for the maximum sob story effect.

    Nene was never about that.

    In fact, if not for the way her mom and her relatives appeared (on the 100 secs moment and Eviction Night, respectively) and the MGB clip shown right before the Big Night, you wouldn't know how much her family needed the prize.

    Nene did not capitalize on the "awa" or "pangangailangan" factor of their socio-economic status to amass votes. She did not even use the usual regional plea for her fellow Romblomanons to vote for her. She called on everyone from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and people from around the globe. And she wanted the strength of her personal merits -- her skills, talents and what she has shown thus far -- and not anything else to carry her onto the finish line.

    She could've opted for the easier path and played on the sympathy card but she didn't. Not many people would go and choose the higher road she took. If for that alone, the esteem I hold for her has already gone a thousand notches higher.

    It's not just because she makes the most reasonable and impersonal nominations. It's because up till the very end, she chose not to make a 180 degree turn to vote out whom she believed were her strongest competitions. She stuck to her guns and nominated in the same way she used to, which was not for her own benefit if we're gonna be realistic about it.

    It's not just because she can dance all day and night like the Nenergizer that she is. It's because she's willing and able to go those extra miles (and miles and miles) for a group task even when she's already given more than the minimum requirement for an individual.

    It's not just because she can climb coconut trees or do heavy lifting like it was nothing. It's because it screams woman empowerment.. that social roles can never dictate and limit what a person's potential can live up to.

    It's not just because she's Kuya's good little obedient soldier who carried out task after task with nary a complain. It's because she also knows when to put her foot down and scream out loud when an injustice has been made. There's a palpable strength to her words that breathes life into them and makes it more than just mere speech.

    It's all because of a lot of things.

    It's because she continually surprises, amazes and impresses.


    In one of her usual munimuni moments, I remember her waxing philosophical about their PBB experience. How blessed they were to be where they were.. but twas not just about that.. that they weren't placed there just to have fun... it's also about them getting more out of the experience.. with the aim that upon leaving, they'll be better persons than when they first stepped foot inside Kuya's house.

    Nene entered the PBB house carrying more than just her luggage. Hiding behind the tough and sunny exterior lies the deep emotional scars which makes her hug her protective shell tighter to herself and, in effect, creating a metaphysical barrier that distances her from her housemates and keeps the public from fully relating with her on a personal level as well.

    As the weeks passed, we've seen how the reserved and unemotional woman has gradually become less afraid of dropping her shields and letting herself grow attached to her housemates. We saw her chat more freely, burst into sporadic song numbers more often, keep in her emotions a lot less than she used to. And it is during those brief glimpses of unguarded frailty and 'weakness' that endeared her more to the viewers. It supplied the missing link.. (na tao rin pala siya.. nasasaktan.. may kahinaan).. that the warrior is actually a wounded child.. and that all she really wanted was to love and be loved.

    Nene doesn't milk the pity factor for whatever it's worth, not from her HMs, not from the public. She doesn't cry very often nor does she want others to see her pain. And it is that quality of hers that only made us want to embrace her more.

    It fills me with pride and happiness to see that Nene is somehow coming into full circle. That aside from coming out P6M worth of prices richer (hehehe..), her discoveries and self-realizations inside the house were gifts in itself and she is now walking away from the PBB experience with the emotional chasm within her slowly healing into place.


    Nene is admittedly the least showbiz of all the housemates, a fact made more obvious now that they're out of the PBB house. It was not the glitz and glamour that catapulted her into fame nor garnered her over half a million votes.

    Her astig personality, her fighting spirit and unrelenting determination, the strength of her character and her convictions, and the way she faces life head-on... Those are that which have earned her Celebrity status in the hearts of every PBB-watching person. Enough hold on the public to mobilize people into campaigning for her and spending hard earned cash to add to her votes.

    And her victory is indeed a shoutout to us common folks -- that nice girls don't always finish last, that good things do happen to good people, and that sometimes, in competitions like these, the most deserving person actually gets to win.

    Whether she has come to realize it or not by now, Nene has become a reluctant hero -- a champion of the masses. She has unwittingly made herself a role model, a flagbearer for today's new breed of post-modernized Gabriela Silangs. Not for just being Pinoy na Pinoy but more so for having those positive qualities worth emulating, for embodying values and characteristics every Pinoy should strive for.


    The gameplan was pretty simple: Be herself. Do her best. Give her all.

    She may have set out just by being herself and pushing the limits of what her very best effort can give. But her irrepressible nature and her indomitable spirit turned out to be nothing sort of ordinary.

    In a house-full of diverse characters and colorful personalities, she was a standout in her sheer simplicity. In a society chock-full of cynics and a mostly apathetic youth, Nene Tamayo was a breathe of fresh air in her quasi-revolutionary approach.

    May mga katulad pa pala niya na nag-e-exist!

    And it is a very comforting thought.


    A Fighter. A Survivor. She makes you proud to be Pinoy.

    She inspires you to do bigger things, to make more of yourself.

    She urges you to believe that there's nothing no one can't do if you push yourself hard enough and give it your all and that there's no challenge one can't face if you believe in yourself and work thrice as hard to achieve it.

    And that is more, so much more than I've ever expected to gain from watching a tv show I was even originally reluctant to watch.

    VOTE for NENE for PiPOL of the Year:
    PIPOL (space) NENE TAMAYO [your name] and send to 2366

    NENE (space) ON and send to 2366

    Join the Nenergizers at the Kumander Nene YG.