Most people have probably heard of the 4 temperaments test. Basically, you answer a set of questions and the results will tell you what basic temperament you belong to (usually your dominant trait and your next dominant one). If you watch ‘Divergent’, it’s almost the same. There are four basic types: Choleric, Melancholic, Sanguine and Phlegmatic. You can read about these types here: The Four Temperaments or take the test and know yours here: Four Temperaments Test. They also say that your temperament can vary overtime. Take a couple of years and try the test again and there is a possibility that you’ll get a different one. This only shows that eve personalities change. As for me, I’ve taken this test way back and took it again just a while back and I still got the same result, I’m still Choleric-Sanguine.
Reading through the descriptions of my two dominant temperaments most of them were really on point so I guess this is really me. Looking back, however, I wondered why I became such a person. One distinct memory I can recall of my childhood was a scene from the series “Mula sa Puso” starring Claudine Barreto and Rico Yan where Princess Punzalan’s character, the kontrabida in the story, was doing her evil laugh. I really admired her character there because she has such a strong personality. She became so effective as a kontrabida so much so that Mula Sa Puso became a nationwide hit. Even up to the point when people who see Princess in public would throw water at her in anger. Princess on the other hand never complained because it only meant that she was effective in her delivery of her character. I realized that ever since then I’ve loved kontrabida roles. Back when I was still acting in theater I always auditioned for the kontrabida roles and mostly I get the part, yey! When other actors scramble for the lead I always wanted to be the villain. Their characters are just too interesting while lead roles are just boring damsels in distress with no minds of their own. I wanted action and thrill, so villain roles have always been my thing. But that always made me wonder, why? Why do I love such characters so much? Was it because they are the ones who give life to the story or was it because they have such strong personalities like mine or was it because they, though not many people see it, have far more interesting stories to tell?
Let’s backtrack a little to Princess Punzalan’s character in Mula Sa Puso. Her name was Selina and she was Claudine’s aunt. As far as I can remember she was a half-sister of Claudine’s father or maybe illegitimate, I’m not sure. All I know is that she was never fully welcomed in the family which made her insecure when Claudine’s character was born. Moreover, the fact that Claudine’s mother was just an ordinary woman added to her insecurities even more. Whatever her reason was, she viewed Claudine and her mother as threats to her security in her very own family that she wanted so much to dispose of them. It was self-preservation that drove her to do such things because she was insecure, jealous and most of all frightened that she will lose her status in the family and that nobody would care for her after that. Her character’s whirlwind of emotions is more interesting to understand than that of Claudine’s who is just a damsel, unaware of things and living only in the pain of the moment. Princess’ character has deeper more budding issues. I believe that Princess, when she was internalizing her character, felt sorry for her. Sorry because she had so much hate in her heart and mostly sorry because she couldn’t let them go. Just like a popular saying: “Hurt people hurt others.” That is the reason why kontrabidas are born and why they do what they do. People on the other hand just see their actions and not their reasons. They never even bothered to understand why they were doing such things. I, on the other hand, want so much to understand. That’s why sometimes whenever the kontrabida loses, I pity them. Not that I wanted them to win but it’s just that they aren’t given the closure that they need most of the time. Their lives are left hanging. They end up sad and lonely and I pity them. So the main question therefore is why do I empathize with such characters so much? Well, because I am just like them.
This Choleric-Sanguine personality of mine, the very strong person that almost everyone who sees me does not even need my results to know which temperament I belong to was not in-born. It was a direct result of the many rejections and hurts that I have been through in my life. A personality that developed as a tool to diminish the hurt and the pain that are involved with the lack of love in my life. When I was growing up, I was pressured to become the best in everything. I never really wanted to be. I just wanted a simple life but then parents think that it is always better if their children aimed for the best. So I was told. I had to outdo everyone so I developed the personality of always wanting to be the best. I was competitive. I was driven to be the best in every possible way and whenever I fall short of their expectations, there goes the rejection. Sometimes it hurts more to hear it from the people you love compared to hearing it from others but that’s just what it is. Because I didn’t want to feel the pain, I built that very thick wall of ‘ignoring’ everything. I developed the personality to dominate, the Choleric side. If I do dominate, then I’d be loved by those I care about. I dismissed every kind of weakness that I know. Being emotional, being too kind, being compassionate, and most especially falling in love because for me weaknesses lead to failures. If I succeed, I won’t get rejected. That’s what I thought.
Come College, I still took with me that personality. I didn’t fit in that much. Afraid of rejection again I toned the Choleric side of me down a notch and developed the Sanguine side. I still maintained the Choleric one but not as much as I did during my teenage years. That was when I realized that I can turn my weaknesses into strengths. Being emotional and compassionate can make me a better listener and a better leader. Being kind can make me more patient and ultimately have people rely on me more. I realized that being strong was just a first step. Admitting that you are weak is also another form of strength, albeit a stronger form of it. So I ended up with this mixed Choleric-Sanguine personality. But aside from that I realized one more important thing: That I didn’t need anyone’s approval to become a person worthy to be loved because I already am.
Due to this I’ve come to understand more about people and their actions. I realized that nobody was born evil or bad. That everyone is shaped by their environment and mostly by the people who surround them. I understand and like kontrabidas because I know where they are coming from. They are just people who are afraid to lose everything that’s why they try their hardest to keep what they can even up to the point of hurting others just so they can avoid hurting themselves. That was me before and I am just thankful that I met people who changed my life and my perspective of things. I hope that people with the same experiences also find those people who will understand them and who will stick with them. What these people need is someone to be with them. Who will assure them that no matter what, they will remain and not leave them or people who will show them that they are already amazing people and that there is no need to become insecure about anything. Only love can heal their wounds, love from others, from themselves and ultimately from God. Knowing that someone loves you unconditionally no matter who you are is the greatest realization that someone can ever have.
I still like kontrabidas and I still would want to play such parts (if ever I am given the chance, showbiz dreams. Woh!) because I want people to realize that everyone is fighting their own battles. Not because you find what they do repulsive means that they do not have their reasons for doing so. Most of the time, their reasons are even deeper and more hurtful than one could imagine. I want the world to understand that kontrabida personalities, often are just frightened people who needs people/others to tell them not to be afraid. Most of the time, those who have the strongest personalities are really the weakest ones. Remembering all these brings me to tears somehow and I am literally writing with a heavy heart. People always see me as a strong, secure, confident, and principled person but that’s just the outer layer. Maybe I became that because I no longer want to be insecure so I try to look at positive things even if the whole world disagrees. Like kontrabidas I am fighting a battle all on my own. So even if the world tells me that I am not worth it, I will still think otherwise. I will continue to love me for who I am because if I don’t I’ll get insecure and jealous and frightened and scared and I might end up hating the whole world for that. I don’t want that. So although deep inside the insecurities are many and the doubts are great, I will still tell myself that, “Hey, it’s okay. You are definitely worth it. You were born for a purpose, a great one. You are a great and beautiful person.” This is not because I am overconfident in myself but because I really am not. Who else will tell me otherwise? Unlike kontrabidas I refuse to wait for that person who will coax be out of my shell and tell me that I am a beautiful person worthy to be loved when I can believe that I already am on my own especially since I know that I am already receiving unconditional love from above. I refuse to remain Choleric-Sanguine yet frightened, doubtful and insecure. I want to be better. I want to be Choleric-Sanguine but hopeful, optimistic and kind. And I want the world to know that even kontrabidas want to be loved and are the kind of people who are willing and able to love unconditionally given the right chance and the right person. The world just needs to give them a chance.