The ENTP Female: A Self-Portrait

I used to think that Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was a ray of light shining on horseshit. But I met an INFJ and that triggered an avalanche of 3,000 love letters across continents in two years. The INFJ was the most intriguing, intelligent, and tender-hearted animal I have ever met, and it's supposed to be the missing rare piece of a puzzle to an ENTP's life. Long story short, MBTI was a sleigh of hand that uncovered our complicated, tortured selves, and swept us away to a soul-level healing, that great clearing of stillness and lucidity after the avalanche. When I first learned about MBTI, I thought it was just modern-day astrology or some shallow entertainment for doofuses. Now I think it's a nifty tool to explore who you are, your vibe, your tribe, and your purpose in whatever shit you're in.

What is an ENTP?

Gifted with a sophisticated radar called extraverted intuition, ENTPs are versatile pattern-seekers who naturally draw on a hundred diverse things to see or create something new. They are called inventors, visionaries, explorers, originators, and debators. The most emotional among intuitive thinkers (NTs), they are described as clever, cerebrally and verbally quick, laid-back, innovative, charming, flexible, and resourceful, with a biting sense of humor and a strong resistance against authority. On the flip side, they can be insensitive, argumentative, narcissistic, unreliable, and arrogant, and lean towards hypomanic and antisocial personalities. While ENTPs are misrepresented among women (they make up only a smattering 3% of the global pie of females), among men, developed ones include Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, Barrack Obama, and Buddha. Unhealthy examples include Joker (from Batman) and Deadpool.

The ENTP Kid

With an innate internal compass, I never listened to my parents or to any adult for that matter, given that I was the youngest in a huge house of about 30 to 50 people at any given day. I was intolerant to being told what to do, how to think, and how to behave, and charmed my way among adults to hand me money to buy sweets.XD Growing up unattended and deaf to instruction, I led a few kids to roaming the streets on a daily basis, setting our adventures for the day, creating our own language, maintaining social harmony. In school, I failed in subjects that didn't budge my interest and aced in subjects that did. Outside the classroom, I was an insatiable machine, absorbing everything in our family library and school library, and had a number of hobbies and interests. I was a math whiz without effort, taught shortcuts to my teachers, and was thrown in different math competitions. Along the side, I was painting too, joined competitions as well, made arts and crafts just to give them away, and biked and sneaked into private swimming pools to chill out. One time I went home late at night drenched to the bone in my school uniform. It felt good to swim regardless of whatever clothes I was in. It bothered me a lot that other kids my age didn't understand things so easily as I did, and didn't have the sense of curiosity that I had. On the down side, I was often brought to the principal's office due to theft. I was a closet kleptomaniac for many years and enjoyed the thrill of acquiring things, sucking the juice or novelty out of them, and then giving them away. And every time I did, I felt like a benevolent and generous princess, bringing bright shiny things to humanity to better their lives.

Teenage Years

Everything was the same as my childhood days, except that my explorations broadened to stealing books and understanding the nature of intoxicants, stimulants, gangs, and boys. I had the reputation of a designer and was given the role of an arts club president, finding ingenious ways to design stages and costumes for all high school events. Classes were spent passing down liquor in the back row and doodling on very inch of space in my textbooks and notebooks. Regardless, my friends would get surprised when I'd walk up the stage to get my honors and medals when I'd always waste my free time just making trouble, drinking, smoking pot, and listening to alternative music. While I did have a clique of wayward girls which I led, I was drawn towards boys and older people. I understood the squishy center of guys more than I did girls'. Maybe it was the hormones, but I was always in a relationship with a dude simply because it was more natural for me to be among boys than girls. Often testing the loopholes in my environment, I was sent to the guidance office for more theft, misbehavior, wearing inappropriate clothing, and getting caught in the act of making graffiti. I feel like a bore narrating my life, but high school was unbridled freedom and want. The exploration of bodies is censored due to inappropriate content, but that in itself is another timehole of strange feelings and sensations.

Young Adulthood

Going against the tide, I'd only understand truth and morality by experimenting with the opposite. It's not that I was stupid because I'd always make mistakes. I intentionally made mistakes and did the wrong things to see why truth is real and morality is necessary. I was compelled to understand how everything works in a grand gesture to acquire all the secrets of the self and the universe. In college I'd often twist my professors' instructions to create wildly perverse projects, often even remotely connected to the instructions given. I'd do that for the sheer high and shock value, satisfying my need for my work to stand out from an ocean of beige. I didn't mind failing but I'd always end up with the highest grades doing what I wanted, and not what the professor wanted. Failing was irrelevant; I got the most out of it instead of the professor out of me.

Explorations further expanded towards understanding the human psyche, world religions, governments, and the powerful yet silent ways of nature. I was turning into an obsessive, highly individualized young lady, who didn't belong to any creed, any government, or any belief system for that matter. All this time I knew in my gut that everything I've been told all throughout my life was wrong, and that being human was a mere accumulation of rules and cultural structures to turn us into slaves in the massive clockwork system of capitalism and consumerism. Men failed to interest me unless they were an intellectual or were agonizingly fuckable. I couldn't fit in anywhere as everything in society was limiting and was dousing the fire in my spirit. I was mentally hyperactive that I started hallucinating; I was manic depressive and attempted suicide by burning myself. Being a woman and an ENTP was a disastrous combination when a young lady's out-of-the-box intelligence, high intuition, and massive creativity couldn't find a place to thrive in.

Discovering the great outdoors was transformative as nature has no social constructs, racial prejudices, crippling judgments, or any sense of morality. I fell quickly at home with the outdoors and later with the wide open road, where I mindfucked with fellow lost souls flowing along the current of this immensely beautiful and unpredictable world. By my mid-twenties I was independent and roaming freely that ordinary people I met were often shocked by the kind of person that I was: unapologetic, profane, intelligent, conversational, and openminded, and yet at other times inaccessible, unapproachable, aloof, and deeply absorbed in other things. Feelings are the hardest part to digest, as these awkward untouchable things accumulate and erupt into fits and explosions. Beyond the company of people, I sought the presence of aged and gorgeous trees, mind-blowing waterscapes, mountains, and skies, and the unquestioning affection of animals. Deep inside we just want to be accepted unconditionally, incorruptibly, irrevocably, regardless of what shitty hole we emerged from or whatever far-fetched tangents or theories spill from our tongues. We are complicated as the world is complicated, unpredictable as the world is unpredictable, and ever-evolving as any ENTP is addicted to growth, new experiences, and unconventional ways of thinking and being alive.

So yeah, I'm still a kid, so that ends here.

// Jun 2017

Vegan Kilawin

Tastiest raw vegan dish I've ever had. (Thank you, Michael!) Wild fruits and veggies in coconut milk and fresh chillies and ginger. Been transitioning to veganism since March 2016! There were MANY pitfalls but I clawed my way out every time. Oh lord, I hate meat now. Just the smell makes me retch.

// Jun 2017

A Bird Among Birds

What with the rain starting to soak everything, I'm acclimatizing myself again to living indoors. Acclimatizing to less wind and daylight, to the tiled or cemented floor, to walls and enclosed spaces, and to moving around hand-made furniture. Actually, I've been showering in the rain this morning before locking myself up in the house. Now that I think about it, staying indoors feels remote, alien, and even unnatural. Since I came back to El Nido from Coron, I've been living in a treescape with a killer bay view and been sleeping in a tent. The site sits on a hilltop bird sanctuary, where the door of my tent faces a sweeping view of the sea, the sunrise, and the moonrise. Other than waking up to the glowing sky, I'd wake up to the riotous sound of the forest, where more than a hundred species of birds live, play, and thrive. Today is the fourth day of rain, and sadly I have to relocate in the house. I have moved to sleeping in the balcony, where the owner of the place, Mike, used to sleep in. I invaded his favorite spot. It's mine now, my own little quiet and comfy space. Mike moved to the treehouse.

It's funny that I've already pictured this when I thought about moving to Palawan: that I will be living in a coastal village, and specifically, on the second floor balcony of a house, facing the sea and the sunrise. Then again, maybe it was a vision of a future, one year ahead in time. The things I pictured in my mindspace about a year ago came true. Ha. And not only did they come true, they're even better than that. Just living in a sanctuary in the shade of many trees, within an earshot to strange birds, and being 10 minutes away to the beach, just these little things make me feel really gewd. This hilltop campsite is my little Eden, my first real outdoor home. I have yet to document the hundreds of birds that live here, or fly here in passing to fertilize the soil. So far, the pretentious aviary expert in me is not familiar with all of them except for the Philippine eagle. With wings stretching longer than human arms spread wide open, the Philippine eagle would soar around the campsite in the morning as if protecting its young and scouting the forest for wild chickens or large mountain rats. After sighting the varieties of birds here, my favorite so far is colored bright aquablue. I've yet to know its name. All I know is when it flies, it flies as if it's clothed with the sea. A flying pocket of ocean.

Even when I was packing up the tent, I had to clean up its rain cover because it was painted with an artwork of bird droppings. White, cream, green, brown, black, the droppings came in a variety of hardened slingshots from the sky. I may have spent a whole afternoon wiping that shit. The owner of the campsite is a professional agriculturist, an ecclectic guy who knows everything about Palawan's local and endemic trees, fruits, plants, and flowers, and is at the same time a great cook, barman, and a drunk. Up here in the campsite, he's cleared the ground of weeds, only to retain the cashew trees, whose cashew apples serve as delectable breakfast to birds. He's also planted several other flowering and fruit-bearing trees to serve as buffet tables to year-round, migratory, and seasonal birds. Other curious residents of the campsite include a rooster, a lone skunk, and different species of squirrels, lizards, bees, butterflies, moths, termites, and ants. To date, we've cleared up some land where we'd soon plant organic brown rice and different sorts of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. We've long been waiting for the rain, and now that its season has arrived, I'll be changing my daily habits all over again.

Showering in the rain isn't so rare here, what with the lack of fresh water on site. Maybe we are nature-worshipping hippies like that, but the truth is, the communal water source is located about 15 minutes away, across the highway and the rice paddies. The rice paddies are like a maze; if you don't know the route, you'd encounter narrow trails broken away by waist-deep mud and then you'd have to retrace your steps to find a different route. I learned this the hard way: when I was feeling a bit adventurous the other day I risked taking a different route and ended up getting stuck in this rice fields out in the post-noon burn of the sun. The longer route, which takes about 20 to 30 minutes by foot and 10 minutes by motorcycle, that's where we ply on wheels to get water for the toilet and kitchen. (Fortunately, we have a toilet in the campsite!) We're drilling a deep well this year and hopefully I get to see this before I leave for Nepal. In the meantime, the daily skyshower is enough to rub the dirt off our skin.


Mike's rules in the campsite. He's a hippie and does not know it.


The tent where I used to sleep in, now birdshit-free.


Alejo, trying to be sober. Above him is the balcony where I moved into.


Our neighboring gecko.


The beach is just a few minutes away. This one was taken during sunrise.


Seascape from my new home.


My minimalist outdoor workspace.

// May 2017

I Wake Up Tentacular

In Coron, the weather is steadily feral and unaccommodating. Besides Mt. Tapyas, every ideal pretty place to hang out in and contemplate the apocalypse, every pretty place is a boat ride away. I've been renting a room at the foot of the mountain. And every morning, I go on a pilgrimage to hike, anticipate the sunrise, and draw the skyburn inside my eyes. To purge every molecule of shitty vibe absorbed from the day before. So I am clean for the day ahead. Then again, this is my own little religion, my everyday ritual, patterned after my sketchy vision of nature. I sweat out into poses later and climb a strangler tree to read a book, before heading back home for shower and writing work. Or I visit my favorite bar, talk to artists and musicians, and pretend to be interesting.

So far, I've been around El Nido and Coron. I guess my only favorite spot is eastern El Nido during Amihan season. Other than that, the heat reigns supreme. I'm darkly sunbaked from staying outdoors too long I can pass off as a tree. I am a tree. Currently in a relationship with a tree. The strangler tree, or balete tree, I climb it almost everyday. I talk to it, and it me. I love touching its heavy trunk, its sinuous, crawly branches, and cooling myself in the shade of its green leaves, cracked with soft sun. Giant red ants and pointy-beaked black birds live there too. And together we make up a small ecosystem of transient animals feeding off the tree's sacred spaces.

By Tuesday, I'm having my sidebelly inked with a huge octopus tattoo. In a recurring dream I wake up an animal. I wake up a ghastly octopus, gravitating in a dark and heavy, cold place. Deaf and blind, I grasp the world merely by tentacular feeling. My choice of weapon is black ink, my only mode of expression, drawn from the ancient juice of the ocean. Maybe the octopus is my personal inner beast. If I were born an animal, I must be tentacular.

I met an artist in town, who is similarly a nomad. He said the best place he's ever lived in the country is in Sagada. Ideal. Maybe I will move there soon. In the meantime my quest of a writing sanctuary (and home) continues.

// Apr 2017

Hello there, Coron


I may be slowly turning into a sunworshipper. Eek.
Awesome spot to practice kriyas daily.

// Apr 2017

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