(Audio File)


A:

Hi, Yca!

Y:

Hi, Aali!

A:

How are you?

Y:

I’ve been fine. What about you?

A:

I’ve been fine as well.

Y:

That’s great.

A:

Yah. Okay. So since we’re friends, we’re going to take this lightly, you know, like just easy conversations.

Y:

Alright.

A:

So my first question for you today is about yourself. Who is Yca Bonifacio in her own eyes?

Y:

Thank you. That’s a nice question.

So hi, everyone! For those who don’t know me which I think most of you don’t, I’m Yca Bonifacio. I was a grade 12 HUMSS student at CSA- Makati and will be taking political science in De La Salle University. For those who don’t know me, I think I can easily summarize myself as a friendly, happy… outgoing, and happy person. 

So the story behind this is because I want to have everyone and feel… I want to have everyone and let everyone feel that they’re part of a community– a part of a group of friends, a part of people– because humans need humans in order to survive and allowing other people to be part of a conversation or to be part of the small things means a lot to me so that’s why I say I’m friendly and outgoing because I really tend… I really find myself trying to make everyone part of this… part of a community.

A:

Regarding that, you really are friendly. Like no joke, you really are friendly. I remember during my first day in… in Colegio San Agustin- Makati, you were there. Like, we were seatmates and then we started talking, and then we started vibing.

I don’t know what happened to the other days, but we just got close… we just got close again when we were in like grade 12. But in the whole grade 11, you weren’t really there. I was with our other friends.

Y:

Yes, but in the end, we became close friends. I call her my person. If you know where that’s from, that’s good.

A:

I honestly don’t know where that came from. Yah. I’m not a fan of series.

Y:

Yes. It’s okay, but she is my person, guys.

A:

Okay, so my next question is now related to our topic which is loving your body. So…

Y:

Alright.

A:

The question is: what is your story regarding body positivity?

Y:

Okay. Thank you again for that question.

Well… well, I do have a long story about this, but it all started… well, it recently just started which was… which started last December 2019. Well, all my life I never really cared about my body. 

I knew it was big. I knew it wasn’t in the normal scale of normal perfect weight. I’m not sure what they call it but it wasn’t really there in the BMI scale ‘ba yon? Yes.

So the thing is, when I was in grade 12, I had friends who works out in the oval, so I was like “Hey, that’s so cool. Let me do that with them. Let me spend time ’cause our dismissal is at 2:30 and people went home at 4:30”. So there was some ways so I said “Hey, let’s just work out in the oval” and that’s where it started. 

I actually started working out not for body positivity but for a contest ’cause I wanted to join this contest that I think required training, running around, some kind of military things and I wasn’t prepared so I prepared myself by jogging, but in the end, it became really fun ’cause I stopped thinking about that view– that purpose– and I just started hanging out with my friends who’ve been doing workouts together. 

We’ve been running around together and encouraging each other and there are times when I’m left behind ’cause they’re all… they’re not thin… they are thin but they are the healthy thin perfect people… those kind of body weights and whenever they did something, I’d always tell them, “Hey, wait for me. Hey, don’t leave me behind” and they don’t and then they still encourage me.

I remember the first day I worked out, my friend made me do a hundred sit-ups without me knowing and I really enjoyed it ’cause when you find good people who will help you in this journey, it will be easy and it will lead you to greater heights.

A:

Wow. Yah. I like that.

So I don’t know if you’re planning to share this in this interview, but I just want to open it up. You told me when we were like talking, when we were like opening up to each other, you once told me about the story of how you were bullied because of your weight.

Y:

Yes.

A:

I can’t anymore remember. Was it in grade school or junior high school? I have no idea, but the thing is, that really struck me because, from your story, I know what you… like I know what happened from it… like you’re now a different person from who you were before.

So do you mind sharing that story to whoever is reading this blog post or listening to this audio file?

Y:

Yes. It wouldn’t be a burden.

So it started with… well, it didn’t start anywhere but then the people I consider as bullies, I thought they were bullying me. 

Well, I know they were bullying me for my size but then I wasn’t really bothered by it until… well, I was never really bothered by it unless it was from the people in the streets and the people who I am close with that say “Uy, lumalaki ka na!” which means “Hey, you’re growing bigger!” or “Uy, napabayaan ka ata sa kusina!” which means she’s been spending so much time in the kitchen… like it’s a… it’s an idiom, I think, where the person spends so much time in the kitchen, he/she eventually eats everything.

A:

Filipino idiom.

Y:

So… yes.

So what happened was… well, I didn’t really care about the words they were saying but then, I was bullied when I was in grade six to seven and then… well, I was like “Okay. I really don’t care ’cause I’m not doing anything bad” but then it did lead to some kind of sadness and depression but whenever I felt these things, I’ve always found this place to go home to, to run to when I’m sad and I’m like “It’s okay. I’m not doing anything bad.”

I never really questioned my body size until I was in grade 8 to grade 9 and then I stopped ’cause I lost weight and then I started having sickness. I had… I figured out I had this lung sickness and then I stopped working out and then in grade 10, it was okay. 

I was still thin but grade 11 gave me a big depression so I started gaining weight again but there was this one time in grade 11, I was wearing a yellow, black, and white jacket and someone called me Jollibee and I was so offended like I never told that to anyone but then… so I never wore that jacket again. 

When I see it, I have so much hate towards it but, you know, it’s nothing. It’s in the past and we’re supposed to move forward

A:

Yes.

So the topic that we’re talking about is loving your body, and now, I just realized that loving your body is different for other people. Like we all have different conceptions of what loving your body really means. So my question is, what does loving your body mean to you?

Y:

Okay. So loving my body, for me, means taking good care of it and embracing all its flaws, its stretch marks, its imperfections. I think that no one is telling you and your body to be what… to be whatever it is in this society. I learned that… I only learned that in this quarantine actually ’cause I have this friend. 

She’s actually… she weighs bigger than me but then she’s enjoying her life; she’s wearing the clothes she like; she… she’s living a good life and I was like “Hey, that could have been me!” but it’s really in your environment and how you grow but… yah. 

The thing is, you can do whatever you want with your body unless you aren’t hurting people. Just don’t hurt other people but if you are, then stay as you are, if that’s what you wish but if you think there’s something wrong and you want to improve something, go! 

Find a way to improve it but never let anyone or the society tell you what you’re supposed to do with your body.

A:

Yes, I agree with you. Now that you… you kept mentioning the quarantine… yah… what happened during the quarantine, my question is: was the quarantine the start of you choosing to better your point of view when it comes to your body?

Y:

No, it did not start.

Like what I said before, it started in 2019… December of 2019. It started back when we had the extra time… two hours every day to find a way to workout. We had this time to spend so my friends and I were like “Hey, okay. Let’s just work out in the oval”. We started jogging and working out with each other and then… and then I fell in love with working out. 

At first, it’s like “ugh!” and then I realized that “Hey, working out!”. I thought people who worked out were only the skinny, pretty, jock boy, trainee ones… varsity ones… but then I was like “No! It’s a journey for everyone to embark in”.

So I started working out 2019. I stopped during March because we had this 3-week busy week… something like that… and then I started doing it again during quarantine which I had offs and ons and there was a time when it was an off. 

I had an off… a 2-week off because I was like “Oh! I’m getting tired but I’m already happy with a little progress”. But then now I’m starting again which is good and so like I’m going to say that even if setbacks are a thing, just accept the setback. 

Don’t hate yourself because… because you stopped or because you got tired. It’s okay to take risks because this is your time. No one is telling you when your deadline is to have this perfect body.

A:

Yes, and actually, I think we have the wrong point of view when it comes to loving your body… like most of us… because when loving your body comes to… comes to the story, we always think that you shouldn’t… when it comes to loving your body you shouldn’t change anything about it, but in your… in your case, you were like ready to better it, you know? Like your point of view of loving your body is actually improving it for your own sake and not for anyone else’s.

So yah. I really admire that. So my next question is… because there are a lot of person… there are a lot of people who are being bullied because of their body figures. The only social media I have is Facebook because I deactivated all the others. So every time I log in to my Facebook account, I see posts about… about people being body shamed.

Y:

Yes.

A:

I won’t anymore mention names because… yah… I don’t want this podcast to be about other people and about what they’ve been through if they’re not really fine sharing it so my next question would be: what advice would you give to the people who are being bullied about their sizes?

Y:

Okay. That’s a great question ’cause no one used to give me advice on how to handle these things. So my advice for you guys is to use the most out of your body and not just your body but with other things you’re capable of doing. I realized that with this size of my body which is big… which is not the normal… or whoever said which is normal to us, right? 

What I do is I help carry chairs; I help carry tables; I assist my teachers in doing things. It’s the small things that… that allows you to work in society that I used to do with my body, and if someone bullies you, well then, they’re not good people because you’ve done nothing to hurt them and they don’t also have the right to hurt you, but why do they?

So think about why do they. Why do they hurt you? Why do they say mean things about you? Always think you have something they don’t. So in my case, whenever people used to bully me, I… I always tell myself… well first, I understand them. I tell myself “Hey, you actually might have a better life than them. You have a good family. You have good friends. You have real friends”. 

They might not have those. They might be getting beaten up, and it’s nothing to compare. That’s mean. Comparing is mean, but then it’s something to give you a push to keep working and keep moving forward each day because you can do something with your body that other people can’t so use that, instead.

A:

Yes, and only you can make advantage of your… of your body… like of your flaws… only you can make it and transform it as your weapon.

Y:

That’s true.

A:

So my last question for today is related to the past… to what happened to you before. So my question is: what is your message to those people who bullied you?

Y:

Alright.

So I saw this post from my batchmate who happens to be a famous designer. He posted something that when he wasn’t famous yet, people where calling him names not because of his body but because of how… who… who he was. That’s when I came to realize that “Hey, it’s not only people who have big bodies in society”. It’s not only the ones with big bodies in society that are getting the hate but also other normal people who… people will always have things to say to you and it’s funny ’cause when you’re better, they’ll go back chasing you and asking you for help.

So what I can say to them is “Well, good luck in your life. Good luck in college, and thank you because if it weren’t for your negative thoughts which I never really needed, I wouldn’t be this strong person I am today, and I wish you guys… I wish you to find peace in yourselves and in your heart because it’s unfair that the people you’ve hurt already found their peace”.

And it’s not mean. This sounds so mean but it actually isn’t because the people they’ve hurt have gone through worse than them by giving… by telling… by them telling us their words so the fact that people they’ve hurt wish them the best… wish them better in life is actually good because it just proves they’ve done something good to this person’s life through a bad way.

A:

Yah. So okay, I said that that was my last question but regarding your answer, I just wanted to ask you another question regarding it.

So my question is: did you ever hold grudges against them? Because personally, I did with the people who called me names way back when I was in grade school and junior high school. I really did hold grudges against them because words hurt.

Y:

Yes, words hurt.

A:

And what I did in order to uplift myself was to write about it. Like I wrote everything about how my eyes… how I was called names because of my eyes; how I felt I was the underdog in the story… like I felt I was not enough and all those things.

So did you ever hold grudges like me?

Y:

I… I didn’t hold grudges for the reason of them bullying me for my body but I think… but I remember now that I think the main reason people bullied me was because of my body. So I did hold… I didn’t hold grudges but I held fear to them.

There was this one time my friend pm-ed me– a person who belongs to this group who bullied me. He pm-ed me and I told him “Hey, I don’t want you in my life. You’ve done so much harm already”. 

So I did that but eventually, we became friends and classmates and so yes, I never held grudges except to this one person who called me the Joll… well to this person who called me this yellow… ’cause I was wearing a yellow, white, and black jacket that day so this person who said that I held a grudge until recently we started talking again and I realized “Hey, I shouldn’t really have done that” but it’s a dark day in my life but it’s all forgiven. It’s all good. Everything is a learning experience.

A:

Yes, and I think the reason why you managed to talk to those people again is because you forgave them for who they were before.

Y:

Yes. I think that is it

A:

Because like what they say, change is constant, and I think you’re really mature to realize it as.. at a young… at a young age.

Y:

Yes, and you’re supposed to be the bigger person. That’s a great thing in life… knowing when to become the bigger person.

A:

Thank you so much for accompanying me for this interview. I really appreciate it a lot. I know you have a busy schedule because college is fast approaching and like you are one of the representatives for political science.

Thank you so much, Yca.

Y:

Thank you, Aali!

A:

Bye!

Y:

Bye!


Why, hello there!

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Love,

Aaliziyah

8 thoughts on “Loving Your Body With Yca Bonifacio

  1. her struggle is so real! i am not as big but now that i gained a little weight, my family would always remark about how huge I have become. so i totally understand her. her realization about fitness puts her on the right track. it’s not just about body form but about her overall health.

    Like

  2. I can honestly see myself in you when I was your age and I love how your mind works and how you think loving your body means to you. You know it’s pretty easy to say that we should be ourselves as long as we’re not hurting other people. That’s somehow true! Pero staying true to ourselves is I think the hardest because there will be people na kahit di mo inaano, nasasaktan parin of how true they’d see in you. You’re very lovable Yca and you’re like an open book dito sa blog mo 🙂 Just don’t let other people use this genuineness of yours against you. Love u!

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  3. Hello there schoolmates! All this time we came from same school pala! I also graduated from CSA batch 2005. Wow tanda ko na diba.

    Bullying may come in different forms: be it verbal or physical. Though we can’t control how our society treats us, it’s how we often react to it that matters. Reading this post made me look back at my insecurities in high school. I was a transferree back then from an all-girls school, Colegio de Sta. Rosa. I was the loner type and I had few friends kasi I didn’t know how to interact with boys. I had lots of pimples too. Anyway, that phase made me stronger and made me appreciate my identity, my skills, my beauty. I became more sociable as I transformed to a student leader in college. Things like that can lead to better things haha.

    It’s a good thing that you and your friend has this positive mindset on how can we turn our weakness into strengths – – – such as issues about weight and what not. I admire your disposition 🙂 cheers!

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  4. Body shaming is not acceptable, it’s a form of discrimination! It’s rude, toxic and uneducated! I guess us, Filipinos, it become a natural hobby to include your body in a simple conversation, it could be during greetings, kamustahan, etc. this must be stopped!

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