Herschel Mariliese Rodriguez here, but known to most as Hersch, Boom, Schel, Herschy, and sometimes Gillette (don’t ask).

Since I was 7 or 8, I have always dreamed of getting into showbiz. After __ years, the flame still burns bright. (And yes, I still ask myself if I could still possibly star in the High School Musical reboot.)

I am innately tone deaf, naive, and gullible… so when Mama told me how well I can sing at 4 and that the neighbors were so entertained by my rendition of Tomorrow as I stood on piled-up pillows and held on to an umbrella as my mic, I belted even louder and more often… and gleamed when someone knocked on our door to let us know that they hear me singing… again…

Even if I was brought up as an only child (even if I have 1 biological sister, and my mom and uncle is my legal sister and brother – a topic for another time), my [grand]parents made sure that I didn’t grow up getting everything I wanted. Which brings me to saying all the toys I ever had were hand-me downs or gifts from relatives, and I have never once owned a console unlike the other kids. Why am I saying this? Obviously I’m still hung-up on it, doh!

But this helped define who I am today. I have an undying passion for computer games – but I grew out of wanting a console, now knowing how much more limiting yet expensive they can be in comparison to desktop computers.

I may not have been given everything I wanted, but my [grand]parents sure did a terrific job giving me all the comfort and security in this world. I was given a great education – no dime was spared. I had a car and driver taking me to and from school (and then work) everyday since I was 10. I had one or two nannies caring for me at one time, apart from the hands-on parenting of Mama.

Early on, they instilled in me the need to do the right thing… lest I face the consequences. Never lie. Follow through on promises. Abide by the rules. Save. Do not spread rumor. If someone throws a stone at me, throw bread back at them. Never do drugs.

I’m proud to say they taught me well.

And learn fast, I do. Now, unlike being “good” at singing when I was 4, this at least is a truth. I could pretty much do anything as long as I set my sights on it, thus I have such a varied repertoire of skills/interests: chess, billiards, charcoal sketching, HTML, BBS, Photoshop, audio production, acting, singing (hey, I kinda improved!), PC gaming, basic programming, computer hardware, piano, violin, guitar, coaching, teaching, and booger flinging.

My sensibilities get easily offended whenever I hear/read anything implying gender stereotyping, but I have a bad habit of avoiding conflict so I just stay quiet or sometimes even utter a weak “Heh” as a retort. Boys should never hear the words “Be a man” as they are growing up, and girls should never hear “That’s not becoming of a lady.” Girls and boys should never be told what they can and cannot do. They should never ever feel it implied that one gender is lesser than the other in ANY and ALL aspects.

But before I continue my flagrant tirade about gender languaging, let me end it here so I can leave some other topics for my upcoming articles.

Glad you reached ’til this line. More long posts to follow! ❤


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