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       You are so cute!


Hi! My name is Kathryn and I am short. Apparently I am “so cute” too. I guess being Filipino, being short comes with the territory. Only in my case, I am usually the shortest. Don’t get me wrong; I am not bitter or anything. I am merely stating a fact. To be honest, I like seeing the surprised looks on people’s faces when they first meet me and hear me speak because they realize that I am actually not the “cute kid” they presumed me to be. First impressions of me, I guess, are somewhat deceiving – considering I am the type of person who hates to dress up. I like to be casual and comfortable. So until we have that first conversation, you might think that I am really young.

Being a tiny person has its ups and downs. I have been called every word imaginable, both offensive and funny, about my being short. The offensive ones I usually just ignore and the funny ones I laugh at. Sure, there are times when I just want to say, “Well, that was mean,” and other times I get the urge to be a little mean in return. Most especially when I have been told “Aww, you are so cute and tiny,” I have less than kind words I would like to say back to them (“Aww, you too… Your brain that is!”). But of course, I don’t say that. I just ignore it. For my enjoyment, I sometimes pretend to get really offended when people say things like that to me and start laughing right after they scramble for an apology. It doesn’t really bother me now because I am used to it. Besides, it is who I am.

My everyday experiences are usually quite funny. I often get stares from people and most of them from kids. My boyfriend teases me, saying that the kids stare because they wonder if I am in their class! And going to restaurants? Oh, the hilarity! I am frequently offered the kid’s menu and asked if I want a balloon. It’s priceless! Unfortunately, I always fail to have fun with it by saying, “no thanks,” mostly because it catches me off guard. But not to worry, because the next time I am offered a kid’s menu or a balloon, I will definitely say, “Yes Please!” And you know what I tell people? I tell them that I was born short so that I can make others happy by poking fun at my being a tiny person.

Those who know me well know that I am not all about being cute. My parents often describe me as “small but terrible” because they know that I do not take nonsense from others. Maybe it is a defence mechanism for my shortcomings (no pun intended), but I make sure that I always stand up for myself and I will fight a good fight if I deem it necessary. For those people who equate my being short as a form of weakness, I prove them wrong. I believe that what I lack in height I make up in intelligence. Of course I have my limitations, but that does not stop me from aiming for higher goals (with the help of a stepladder that is). Joking aside, I think I have come along way getting to where I am, and I am excited for what the future has in store for me. I know I have so much more to accomplish and getting there is half the fun. I am up for any challenge, even if that includes proving to others that although I may be short and may get unfair treatment from some people (intentionally or not), I am capable of doing anything and everything.

Kathryn de Castro is the current Human Resource Officer of ANAK. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact the author at

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