TOOT-TOOT! Rushing from the shower, still slippery with soap bubbles, he picks up his cell phone and reads the message: "eow pu..MxTa pu?" This is mild Jejenism. After seeing the unread message icon, his face lights up. With his right hand holding the phone and his left hand hanging on to both ends of the towel around his waist, he starts typing expertly with his thumb: "K lng. U?" He sends the message. While waiting for the reply, he looks around to check if his board mates are still in the house. Seeing no one, he leaps with careful steps from bathroom to bedroom, leaving his wet footprints on the rickety wooden floor - still hanging on to the CP and his already dripping towel.

Toot-toot! The message comes as he starts drying himself. He reads aloud from his inbox: "Na MiSz pfOu qTah!" This is already moderate Jejenism. Trying to mask his kilig, he types his macho reply: "Mis u 2!" He puts the phone down on the bed and starts putting on his pants. Toot-toot! The reply arrives from his three-month long girlfriend. Again, reading aloud: "eHh,,, bHqt pfOu kaU gNyanHh? bEEzEh pFow?" He stares at his CP screen for a few seconds, trying to recognize the words by visual association and audio memory. He slides into his shirt then immediately answers, "Bk8 ako gan2? Bc kc ako. Ngb2his. Hehe! I love you!" He makes sure that he does not type in shorthand whenever he says the last three words to his textmate. It diminishes the value of what you mean, he thinks. It reduces the value of what you want to say. The same phrase he uses in front of his class whenever he teaches English 1 to his high school students. He throws this question to them, "Tatlong salita na nga lang, walong letra, hindi mo pa ma-type?"

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Toot-toot! Standing in front of the door and about to leave the boarding house, with his left hand carrying a clear plastic envelope exposing exam papers with red marks on them, he flips his phone to open the message. Reading slowly with his eyes while his lips are mimicking the words: "aN3u pfow gW4 n3O l8r? kT4h t3O h4? mWahXz!" Now proceeding to severe Jejenism. It takes him a few seconds longer this time to understand the message from this girl that he met via textmate networking. She is 20, so she says. He is 22 and in his first year of teaching. His eyes narrow down on the message, then answers, "Ano ang gwa ko l8r? Gs2 u mgkta tau ulit l8r? Sure!"

They started liking each other when they began exchanging sweet reminders like "kAenh n poeh (Kain po!)" and "wAg k4h p2lpaz g2omh,,. ('Wag ka papalipas gutom)" The relationship became deeper when she told him, "oWteyh lHarn k3o? mEh prOb k3O? (Okay lang kayo? May prob kayo?)" They progressed from textmates to friends, then bestfriends and eventually, lovers.

Toot-toot! In the middle of the sidewalk, while waiting for the next jeepney ride, he reads the message with a whisper: "nUa m1Xz k0 pF0u K30 nU4n z0bR4 wUaCk k30nG M3k zAs4W4 sXa b0SzX kW0,,.,,," This is now terminal Jejenism. He reads it again. He runs through it the third time. And then another. While the whole world is moving around him, while people are walking by, he inhales then breathes out... "Ano daw?" The next jeepney ride speeds away.

Wikipedia says that the word Jejemon supposedly originated from the frequent use of "jejeje" which denotes the interjection of laughter during conversations in online (possibly event texter) communities. Jejemon, according to Wikipedia, means "jeje monsters." The same site adds that the social dialect that Jejemons use is called Jejenese. The alphabet that they use is called Jejebet. According to the site Jejemon Online, there are four types of Jejenism: mild, moderate, severe and terminal. In this case, his textmate and girlfriend Jejemon, is all four.

Would you change the one you love to fit your needs?

I believe in the unspoken "rule of three" in a relationship. It is a very powerful number. A three-person relationship is challenging, but it is already a crowd. Three is the same number of times that you usually allow a partner to make mistakes before you say that you have had enough of whatever. And finally, three is the number of months wherein you can discover your partner's true nature and evaluate if you want to carry on with it or not. After three months in a relationship, you can already decide if you can tolerate the irritating habits that your partner has. He forgets to flush the toilet. She shaves her armpits in front of you. He is always late. She does not have the sense of urgency. He only hears his reasons. She believes her instinct is always right. He is such a baby! She is too possessive! He is a patient English teacher. She is, well... a caring Jejemon. If you decide to give him a chance, if you decide to tolerate her, then the next test will be when your relationship reaches three years!

Sometime in between the third month and the third year, you can try to change each other to suit both your wants and needs. This is called a compromise. It is not wrong to make compromises every now and then. If you agree to a compromise, it shows that you are receptive to changes that will make the sailing less rough. During this time, you will influence each other in different ways. If you want to make it work, you have to be open.

In the case of our story, he is an English teacher. So teach her! She adapts to pop culture really well. So adapt to him! Besides, he will be the culture of your world in the next few rotations of the earth or even revolutions around the sun! But remember, we fall in love because of the individuality of a person, not just because of the opportunity that we can initiate change in someone.

After three years in a relationship, you will begin to evaluate your performance as a partner. You will begin to understand yourself. It will be the time for self-realization. And more often than not, people I know choose to develop their own personalities to be better "single" individuals rather than become quiet partners. So, if it will come naturally after three years, why speed up the process? A relationship does not work with a one-sided source of effort alone. At the same time, a failed relationship does not fail with the fault of just one.

Toot-toot! While punching his DTR, he receives her text. He reaches from inside his jacket pocket and brings out his cell phone. The message reads: "lAbqCkyOuHh." Terminal Jejenism version of "I love you." He begins to type his reply. But this time, he types in prolonged words. Words that have not seen the light of day for a very long time now. His message reads: "Sigigege. Magagkigitaga tagayogo saga Segessiogon Rogoad. Agay lagab yugou togoo..." Send. G-Language. Revived.

If you want to share your own story, talk to me. E-mail me at papaboom927@gmail.com.