Now Reading
Tondo Girl: Why is it so hard to be one?

Tondo Girl: Why is it so hard to be one?

Living in one, if not the most considered dangerous place in Manila, comes with advantages and disadvantages. At times, being a tondo girl can be helpful but annoyingly tiring. There are moments where I have to explain everything and prove anything. Especially being a girl, they sometimes would expect that you have seen the worst, when in fact, no. 

Deemed as a tough, not fearful girl with a faulty mouth. These are just some of the stereotypes I had to endure growing up. People would always assume the worst in me. They would always perceive the ugly about me and the place where I come from. And that’s what you call straight prejudice. And just like everybody else, sometimes it gets through me, sometimes it doesn’t. 

Here are the reasons why being a Tondo girl is quite hard

I’m supposed to be brave and tactless

Whenever I am with a group, I am always the bullet. The one in front, the sacrificial lamb. Well, to tell it honestly, sometimes, only sometimes, I could feel the enjoyment of being one. The hero of the day, the savior that would save everybody from anything. But at times, I could feel the tiredness, embarrassment and the feeling of being neglected all at once. Like, why do I always have to be the one?

“Ikaw na, taga-tondo ka diba? Kaya mo yan” 

What’s with the place I am living got to do with being the one who can do it? Do I always have to do anything that’s scary just because I am a girl who lives in a district of Tondo? A girl who can and will always save herself and everybody else from anything that’s scary? I may have the attitude and the guts to do it. But I’m a coward and a shy girl at times. 

Although there’s a part of me that loves flaunting the place where I came from, sometimes I do want to keep it a secret just to avoid such situations.

Tondo, a place of chaotic and dangerous people

“Diba magulo don?” 

Home to a number of criminals and enemies of the state, some would assume that assaults and other crimes are happening everyday in Tondo. It may happen in front of our houses, on our way to school and work, or maybe just a few meters from where we are standing. But that’s not how it is living in the most joyous and welcoming district I have ever known in Manila. I have been living in Tondo for all my life, but never once have I encountered any type of crime. 

Sure, crimes do happen in certain parts of our turf or in Manila, specifically. But that doesn’t justify the stereotypes I and the other people from the district experience. Crimes do happen all the time, but not just in our area. Tondo may have the highest crime rate in NCR but so does in the other parts of the country. And not everybody is chaotic and dangerous like what some stereotypes describe it. 

Tondo has the worst image and description should one search it on the internet. A drug related community. Home to the worst slums you could ever find in the country. With the image the television and number of movies and series depicting the place, how can I blame people for deeming us as dangerous? 

See Also

But regardless, I’m proud to say that I could walk my way home even at three o’clock in the morning without constantly looking back. Screaming of security and safety, right? And for the record, Tondo is the home of the Supremo. The one and only Andres Bonifacio. 

A marites to the core

Being a Tondo girl sometimes connects to being a “chismosa”. Well, that’s how many would describe the women of the area. A traditional gossiper wearing a daster and rollers on their hair. Mothers who would line-up in front of their homes, talking about a certain Tess having an affair with her husband’s kumpare. And of course, children and teenagers being a tambay even at the darkest time of the day. And I’m no exception to that, unfortunately. 

People who would discover where I lived would sometimes ask me certain kinds of things. As if I knew all about the things that are happening around me. The showbiz couple who recently broke up because of a third party. A cheater vlogger and so much more. When in fact, I don’t spend my time scrolling through the screen of my phone. I rarely go outside and even at the age of 22, I still have the curfew of 10 pm. 

And worst, people would see me as untrustworthy even if I didn’t do anything. What was the worst thing that was ever said to me being a resident of Tondo? That I am as sly as a fox and should not be trusted. What’s even bad, is that I don’t even know the person who said that to me. Funny, right? It’s funny how people could judge you from the way you talk, the way you dress and express yourself and now, even from where you came from. 

Tondo may have the worst description out of the 16 districts of Manila. The worst residents people could ever imagine. But, in reality? We are just a bunch of happy and lively people. Residents are more concerned about what to cook for the fiesta than the number of judgments they could receive. 

Being a Tondo girl is quite hard, unfortunately. I would constantly be judged without doing anything. But as part of being one, I was made confident and strong. Sometimes it gets through me, sometimes it doesn’t. Just remember not to judge anyone based on how they look, how they dress, or maybe where they come from. There’s more to them than what meets the eyes. There’s more to me aside from being a Tondo girl. 

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top