Dear Kuya Bamboo
By now you must have read about us. It’s been four years since I found out.
A coworker of mine called one afternoon in 2007 to ask if it was true. She asked why I didn’t tell anyone that we were siblings and said that if only I told her so, then maybe I could have given her tickets to your gig. Obviously, she’s one of those girls who love you as much as I do.
As soon as I went home, I told Mom about it. I confronted her with photos of you in hand, photos I got from Google. But Mom didn’t tell me anything new. She just told me what I already knew.
Like her, I didn’t know you were my brother—until I read it on Wikipedia.
I don’t have any idea who circulates this wrong information, but somehow, even if I’ve already corrected this in 2007, it still managed to make a few more comebacks in your Wikipedia profile.
In fact, just like what you see in the photo above, the latest entry even carried my updated married surname.
Aside from Wikipedia, we are also siblings according to one of your Facebook fan pages.
Since this happened, I have tried to check if we might be related somehow. My dad says we could be cousins—since you both hail from Floridablanca, Pampanga, where they say all the Mañalacs come from. Also, your real name is the name of the only grandfather that my dad distinctly remembers.
So yes, if you were named after your grandfather, then my Papa must be right that somehow we could be related.
But I wouldn’t know, I couldn’t confirm or ask you—because you don’t even know who I am.
Since all this happened, I have somehow wished it was true that we were siblings. Maybe we could have spent days and nights jamming together when we were growing up. You could have been my prom date in high school, my vocal coach when I was still finding my singing voice. You could have accompanied me to school on my first day in college, or defended me from the boys who broke my heart. You could have been the kuya who cheered me on while I reached for my dreams, or the kuya who would brag about me being on TV like you.
How I would love to join you in your gigs and tell my friends how cool you are as a brother. Maybe if it was true, even those who hated me for my guts would love me to death just so they could get a glimpse of you when you pick me up from the office.
But on second thought, I’m also grateful that we didn’t end up as siblings.
Don’t get me wrong, I am flattered, really flattered that people think you are my brother. But I want to be able to silently watch and adore your musical genius and not feel guilty for admiring you and loving you too much.
Because of our last name, people have remembered me easier. But I don’t want to ride on your fame. I want to be known for who I really am and not just the sister of Bamboo—because I am not.
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