Colors

Has enough time passed for the wounds to heal and the hurts soothed by balm? Do colors still evoke partisanship, and if you wear a particular shade are you immediately pegged as belonging to one side of the political fence?

Fortunately or unfortunately for me, both pink and red are not my favorite colors, and my closet is boring, even drab, with mostly blacks, whites and beiges.

When I was a kid, pink was the default color for girls (as blue was for boys) – many of my dresses were pink, my little bike was pink, my blanket was pink, my schoolbag was pink. Little girls were supposed to be pretty in pink, especially with frills in their dresses and ribbons or barrettes in their hair, but I was never the “pretty” type and I thought pink didn’t make enough of a statement for me.

So when I was old enough to have a say and make my own choices, I refused to have anything pink; any color (except orange, which I didn’t like either since it made me think of Tang, the powdered orange drink, which I didn‘t like) except pink. Today, I have a total of two pink shirts, both given to me, and no pink dress.

Red, on the other hand, was on the other side of the spectrum – it was so loud and glaring. Again, growing up, we only wore red – bright, solid, fire engine red – when it was my grandmother’s birthday. Each one of us cousins had a red dress made for the occasion; the boys each got a new red shirt. After the party I didn’t wear the dress again; it was, as I said, too loud and would have people asking whose birthday are you celebrating? So when Amah’s birthday rolled around the next year, I got a new dress again since I had outgrown the one of last year.

Today, I have two red shirts (one I bought, the other given to me) and, surprisingly, around three red dresses, these “beqeathed” to me by a friend (how this happened is another story for another time). I wore one of the dresses a total of once, to the birthday party of a friend who specified the dress code.

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So for the duration of the campaign for Election 2022, I stuck to my boring wardrobe of black, white and beige (and an occasional blue), steering clear of political coloration. I hope by now we have gone beyond demonizing a particular color, or deifying another. But please allow me to proudly wear my maroon shirt, to celebrate my UP Beloved’s first-in-36 years’ UAAP championship.

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