This is by far the funniest yet sweetest write-up ever written about me. I LOVE YOU WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS, Ria Fernandez. I will post a response to this soon.
Exactly a year ago today I was staring at the stars, freezing under a blanket, piss-ass drunk and declaring my love for Anna Oposa. A person who, to be honest, at that point, I barely knew at all. Fast forward to one year later where I find myself in a conference room filled with about 50 more people, assigned to write about the person to my left. I’m at a loss for words because honestly, I don’t think I can write anything that will ever do her justice.
To start things off, let's get into the nitty-gritty details. Anna Rosario Oposa—Anna to most, Raisa to family, Anns to her close friends, and Valentine to me (and only me)—is currently an English major in UP Diliman. Born and raised in the land of the brave and the bandits (Cavite), she is the second of four children, and is oftentimes labeled ‘the black sheep’ (when it isn’t Uli’s turn). Anna is a well-known environmental blogger, one of very few in the Philippines, and in my opinion, the best one yet. Usually equipped with her fancy chopsticks, she walks around the streets of Manila preaching about the use of cones instead of cups, refraining from the use of straws, and handling your trash responsibly. I guess being the daughter of famous environmental lawyer, Antonio Oposa (also known as AAO), gives you natural Captain Planet tendencies for saving the world.
Anna loves to travel. She’s been to about 12 different countries in 4 continents, not to mention going on her very own Wow Philippines tour and traveling everywhere from Batanes to Cagayan de Oro. Ask her how she does it, “I have feet!” she exclaims (FAKE FACT! True story: sometimes her parents fund it, but if they can’t, then she saves up for it herself). She often blogs and writes about her traveling experience to a point that one girl actually emailed her, thanking Anna’s blog for inspiring her to spend her honeymoon in the Philippines instead of abroad. Yes, indeed, apart from her burgeoning number of employers, she also has a growing fan base.
A few years ago she joined SSEAYP (I would say what that stands for, but I don’t really know*), and was able to travel all over the world. She came back to us with a pocket full of stories, not to mention an award for Miss Nippon Maru. Not only does she have brains, she also has beauty. You can see for yourself:
JUST KIDDING BABYCAKES! Here is Ms. Nippon Maru:
With as much potential as she has to become the next DOT Secretary or First Lady of the Philippines, Anna’s dream is to become a college professor in UP. Never mind the wage differential. We often joke that we’ll both end up living together in a tiny apartment as artist friends, sleeping in pull out beds because that’s all we can afford, half the room filled with books and the other filled with clothes. We’ll be poor, that’s for sure! But according to her, passion can feed us. “Experience teaches you in years what passion teaches you in an hour,” she says, “and besides, Mariel can be my benefactor and Donna can be yours.” Who needs money? We will thrive on love.
I was never really into saving the environment, and often times still forget about how serious the repercussions are of global warming and other environmental issues. During a recent talk Anna had in UST about environmental blogging, I sat at the back in awe at how good she was at teaching. After her entire lecture she goes, “I encourage you to start writing about your passion!” I come up to her afterwards and express my new dream (probably just 30-minutes old?) of becoming a blogger. “That’s great! What are you going to write about?” she asks. “The environment!” After just an hour, she managed to convert me into becoming a full-fledged aspiring environmental blogger.
Anna also loves to perform. Having been a theater performer for so many years, she knows how to wow a crowd. She can shake her bonbons, sing on cue, and to add to her list of talents, she also hosts events (and prepares programs for weddings of people she doesn’t know). One of Lea Salonga’s biggest fans, she was recently able to sing with her on stage in front of hundreds of people. “Who wants to sing with me? Boys? Girls? Anyone?” Lea says. “Anyone? MEEEEE!” That’s Anna: full of confidence and without a care in the world!
If there’s anything Anna loves to do, it’s reading. Her library is filled to the brim with books like Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and David Sedaris’ ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’. She recently joked about living in an apartment with walls covered in bookshelves and then she’ll never have to leave her room. While she said it jokingly, I’m half convinced she meant it (I’m sure she’s already planning on how to rearrange her book collection: alphabetically by author? Or stick with by genre?), and I am already preparing for the day she disappears into her abyss of literature and I’ll never see her again, except of course, for her occasional run to
wine depot the grocery.
Loyal to her core, Anna is the best kind of friend you can ever have. “I don’t like people who fight with my friends and make them sad,” she says. The reason why I always run to her for anything: my problem suddenly becomes our problem. She is, I must admit, one of the sweetest people I know. A definite "I-love-you" whore, she says it all the time but with so much sincerity, often emphasized by her inclination to using the caps lock (“I LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!”).
One thing Anna does (with more poise than most people), is she definitely knows how to party. You’ll always find her in the middle of a crowd, in the middle of a story, and in the middle of a drink. Known for her Remulla-Oposa tabletop dancing skills, Anna is always the life of the party. She drinks like a fish, and despite any amount, always has the capacity to drive her self home (now, what is independent?).
One of the funniest people I know, Anna knows exactly what to say and when to say it. Always equipped with handy quotes from Confucius to her maid Manang Pereg, she knows which ones will fit any situation. “Your heart has cracks so it can let light enter”, “love is life in all its aspects, and if you miss love, you miss life”, and our recent favorite “Tik-tok”. She recently taught me the true meaning of the word ‘segue’, because apparently, not only have I been using it in the wrong context, I’ve also been spelling it wrong! Definitely one of my ‘smart friends’, I learn a million things from her everyday.
Witty to her core, funny to her bones, and truly independent, Anna epitomizes a woman with character. Evidence that women don’t need men to survive. “Who needs boys, when I’ve got you?” she says. All we need is a little bit of passion, a little bit of love, and a whole lot of alcohol.
Love you valentine.
1 I don’t know who the others are, nor have I read any of their blogs. hahaha
2 So as not to waste the wooden chopsticks they hand out in Chinese and Japanese restaurants because these are a waste of trees. Also, the plastic used to wrap them individually is just added waste. For those who want to purchase they’re very own fancy chopsticks you can buy them at your local Japanese grocery store.
3 For ice cream, because you can eat cones while you just throw cups and that’s not good for the environment, and ultimately, not good for you.
4 For reference, please watch her get jiggy with it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-_owk1XuFY
5 FAKE FACT: watch the movie, I swear! And I will return your book soon! …. I just have to read it first!
6 Anna’s constant use of her caps lock is so infectious. WHO OF YOU READING THIS HAVEN’T CAUGHT IT YET???!
7 Like the rest of the atoms. Pun intended.
*Ship for the Southeast Asian Youth Program, Valentine!