312 – On 5 Facts About Yours Truly

Most who regularly view my blog and follow back often wonder at first: Who’s this Monch Weller guy? Is he going to spam our blogs with two- or three-word comments?

While I do have an About page, I believe it doesn’t flesh out more details about me. Thus, let me share five facts about myself so you get to know more about yours truly. This also lets several long-time readers find out more about me beyond the usual food and general lifestyle entries I publish.

Just to clarify: This isn’t one of those award tags you see on WordPress, but more of an extension of my About page. Let’s begin.

1. My maternal grandfather was a renowned judoka of his time.

Based on what I’ve pieced together from my mom’s side of the family, he was born around the late 1910s. Grandpa managed to visit Japan years before World War II and train at the Kodokan Institute, where he earned his black belt. His skill in judo allowed him to travel around the world, eventually returning to the Philippines.

He had brushes with the Americans owing to his time in Japan, but things turned out well after that – and he even taught the martial art to staff members at the Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) back in the day. Later, he taught judo for self-defense purposes at a tertiary institution for criminology in Manila. He passed away in the 1990s – around the time when I was born.

Outside of martial arts, he was a gentleman who had a fine taste in both clothing and music. He was known to wear white suits in his heyday, and would often listen to vinyl records on Sunday afternoons. Mom and I even discovered The Beatles‘ “White Album” in his stash!

2. My dad’s side of the family has produced several politicians and lawyers.

Dad’s side is known for producing lawyers and politicians. In fact, most of my relatives on his side were expecting me to enter law school – being the eldest. However, I opted not to and instead joined the white-collar workforce. My younger brother did, however.

Dad is not the only lawyer in his clan. Two of his cousins are also included in the national roll of attorneys, with one making it to the Top 10 years ago. Several distant relatives on his side have also served as lawmakers, with the most prominent one being an erstwhile house speaker.

However, his side of the family is notoriously known for espousing conservative views given their strong provincial Catholic background. This definitely goes against my more middle-of-the-ground liberal stance, which I owe to a Jesuit education.

3. I have Asperger’s syndrome, and I have been bullied because of it.

Being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at a very young age made me a target of bullies from both a liberal elementary school and a conservative Catholic high school. It also contributed to my parents shielding me from most things as they feared that I wouldn’t be able to survive the real world. Unfortunately, it came with a price; things only improved after I graduated from high school.

Nowadays, there’s a focus on mental health – but I find that it came too late. Where was this when I was bullied? If anything, I would want to publicly slap any bully of mine from those periods. Thankfully, God has intervened – with the last incident almost occurring in 2019.

Allow me to take this opportunity to mention Cherie White of Chateau Cherie, which I discovered during the late half of 2021. Her blog is a treasure trove of resources for victims of bullying, and her advocacy is equally commendable. I often read her posts with the understanding that she, just like me, was a victim but has chosen to rise up.

4. Despite the rather negative prognosis, I beat all the odds and graduated from a Jesuit university.

Back then, my parents thought I would end up in assisted living the moment I become an adult. Fortunately, people like me who suffer from Asperger’s syndrome can end up as high-functioning people that live rather normal lives. I was around six or seven years old when that happened – but look at how far I’ve reached after two decades!

To top it all off, I managed to graduate from a Jesuit university here in the Philippines. It’s the country’s equivalent of Loyola Marymount University in California, Creighton University in Nebraska, and Fordham University in New York. It’s often described as a university for the rich and smart people, which was an achievement in itself.

I graduated in 2012 and immediately found work months after getting my bachelor’s degree. Since then, I’ve been working in white-collar content writing jobs. Whenever people would ask me about my course, I’d say it’s a combination of literature (theories) and journalism (practical writing). As to questions about if it pays well, I just say I manage to save up a substantial amount doing what I like to do.

5. My pen name comes from a British musician.

Only one blogger – an enthusiast of mod culture at that – has so far recognized my pen name, that of British musician Paul Weller. The so-called Modfather originally began with The Jam alongside bandmates Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler. Weller later founded The Style Council with Dee C. Lee, Mick Talbot and Steve White following The Jam’s 1982 disbandment.

The Style Council eventually parted ways in 1989, with Weller eventually becoming a solo artist and enlisting session and touring musicians. While most of his contemporaries such as Boy George and Morrissey have gained some popularity in the US, Weller did not have much of a fanbase across the pond.

I first discovered The Style Council through another Filipino group – Juan Pablo Dream – that did covers of the English band’s music. Further exploration of the former’s discography led me to listening to most of their tunes, especially during their early period (1984-1985). Now, The Style Council is one of the bands I follow (and often listen to) on Spotify.

Well, that’s it for five facts about yours truly. If you’re reading this, consider yourself lucky as I don’t usually reveal these things to people I meet in person. Feel free to ask things about these, the comment section is open. This is who I am: Take it or leave it.

Until the next post.


38 thoughts on “312 – On 5 Facts About Yours Truly

  1. What an amazing person you are!!! Thanks for sharing these things about yourself; it definitely gives us a peek behind the curtain of who Monch Weller is! ❤️ Good for you that you have climbed many obstacles and overcame so much throughout your life, resulting in the talented and creative person you are today!

  2. Most of the Filipino bloggers I follow here have good taste in music. I’m more of a casual listener but I want to identify my taste in music too. You do post more about food, so when you share songs here, I listen to them.

    I’m a victim of bullying too in elementary. It was hard to tell my grandma about it because she was a war freak. The bullying didn’t stop until graduation. It was never addressed but my bullies have miserable lives now. Lives I don’t like to live so, there’s my revenge hehe.

    • Wow, I didn’t know you also listened to stuff I post haha! Thank you, really appreciate that 😁 Wala kasi akong gaanong kasundo when it comes to musical genres.

      And yeah, good to hear that you survived. I just think of what Friedrich Nietzsche said: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Karma yung nangyari sa kanila, if you ask me.

  3. To be honest, bago sa akin yung music na pinopost mo rito but I like the vibe hehe. Chill lang nakakarelax. Disco2 kasi trip ko ngayon para ‘di ako makatulog sa trabaho hehe mga Carly Rae Jepsen, Dagny ganoon.

    I don’t like them to suffer pero bad decisions din nila yun. I hope nagmature na sila. May mga anak na sila ngayon which is a horrible thought for me hehe.

  4. Thank you for sharing these info about you. You’re an amazing person with a fascinating background! It’s been a pleasure reading your blogpost and your story. I’m already looking forward to your next posts!

  5. I love this. I’m happy somehow we connected via blogging. I miss reading blog entries. It’s just that these days most of what’s out there is “instant” and it’s refreshing to get to know someone over writing. Very interesting back story! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  6. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing some about who you are. I know that can feel scary but you are worth knowing! Just last month I read Autism in Heels (on recommendation from an autistic friend I have) – it was about how women with autism and Aspergers experience the world. It made me happy to know that people with autism are speaking out about the abuse that they’ve experienced. I am sorry you experienced bullying but I am glad you talk about it so others in similar situations can find your blog and not feel as alone.

    • Welcome, and thank you likewise for your comment!

      Unfortunately, the Philippines is still left behind when it comes to understanding mental health conditions — one main reason why people like me were bullied years ago. But I’m hopeful that the succeeding generations manage to change people’s perspectives.

  7. I’ve been following you for a pretty long time now, but I’m still finding out more about you, haha. Thanks for sharing, it must not have been easy. Bullies are real dicks and sometimes the shitty part is that they move on, without an ounce of regret for the scars they’ve inflicted on you for life. But as you’ve said in your 2019 post, letting things go is more about gaining inner peace than anything else.

  8. As someone who’s grappled for at least five years now, I can appreciate the effort your grandfather put into his craft of Judo. And to reach a level where you can travel for it, especially back in the day? Amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Welcome! What’s unique about him is that his style was more defensive — in the sense that he could immediately throw down any assailant who dared to punch or kick him. No wonder he later taught law enforcement officers here in the Philippines.

  9. So much has your Asperger’s has been stimulated by facing the pressures of your most successful family? You strike me as one who likes to keep his space from being pressured by others.

    • Well, if relatives from both sides of the family keep on putting their noses in your business for almost three decades — you’ll definitely push back.

      There comes a time when the questions about marriage and a possible career in law become irritating, to the point of sounding like a broken vinyl record. Thankfully, I’ve learned to dismiss those over the years — without resorting to ad hominems.

      Good thing our parents didn’t really pressure me and my younger brother into taking up professional careers. They trusted us with the freedom to choose what we want to do — as long as we were happy about it.

  10. Thanks for sharing these facts about you and the origin of your pen name. I began listening to British musicians for the past 5 years due to having Brit bosses and colleagues who constantly play music new to me. I’ll check out The Style Council and their songs.^^

    • No problem; enjoy! 🙂

      TSC is one of the more known sophisti-pop acts — alongside Swing Out Sister, Everything But The Girl, Sade, Level 42, and Matt Bianco. Expect those other artists to pop up on Spotify while you’re listening. 👍

  11. I love this blog. Thanks for sharing and letting us look deeper into your life.
    I love The Jam and they are one of the bands I have yet to see. So cool that you’re into them.

    • Welcome and thank you likewise, Maryanne!

      Unfortunately, the chance of The Jam reuniting — Weller, Foxton, and Buckler — is close to nil. 😦 I’ve read that the Modfather is no longer interested in joining a Jam reunion, though I have no idea if he’s got axes to grind with the other two that prevent him from doing so.

      (On a side note, if I may suggest — Weller’s recent album An Orchestrated Songbook is amazing!)

  12. Lovely post, it’s always nice to ‘meet’ the person behind the words. Just discovered your blog, glad to have found you.

  13. Wow. I know I’m a few months late to this post, but I enjoyed getting to read more about you. You are an amazing writer, and seem to be quite the same as a person. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  14. Pingback: 364 – On Recapping 2022, Part 1: Posts | The Monching's Guide

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