Some time ago in 2012, Paula Jamie Salvosa gained notoriety after a video of her berating a security guard went viral and had people calling her “Amalayer” after the affected way she enunciated her words. Her words “Do you think I’m a liar?” complete with seemingly arrogant arm gestures made her a big target on social media sites.
Paula recounted how she was grabbed, shouted at and ridiculed by the lady guard. Unfortunately, according to Paula, the one who took the video and uploaded it afterwards only captured the peak of her tirade, when she was already fuming by the way she was mistreated by the lady guard.
She also recalled how the whole world seemed to hate her and netizens attacked her. She received comments such as “sasaktan kita pag nakita kita,” “kung ako ang parents mo ikakahiya kitang anak.” Paula added, “They were bashing me and judging me. Paano ko ide-defend ang sarili ko sa kanilang lahat?”
Paula said how that incident proved to her how much her family loves her. “Natakot ang dad na baka hindi ako grumaduate.” Paula also remembered how much she wanted to go away and change her identity. “I called my dad and sabi ko ‘Papa, hindi ko na kaya. Durog na durog na ako, lalayo na lang ako. Gusto ko ng papalitan ang pangalan ko, kahit anong pangalan na lang.’ I just don’t want my name anymore.” Paula’s dad advised her to stick it out. “Kailangan mong harapin.” Paula shared how her Dad stayed strong for her even though “Nasasaktan siya kasi wala siyang magawa.”
Right after she became infamous as Amalayer, Paula could not leave the house for two weeks. “Natakot ako sa tao, sa train, sa mga guards. Napa-praning ako. Pinacify muna ng school yung buong community kasi pinag-uusapan ang Amalayer.”
Then one day, Paula braved Twitterdom and “binalikan ko ang isang tweet.” Paula read a tweet from “a guy named Rodrigo.” She said Rodrigo wrote a long message of sympathy but what stood out for her was the message “God loves you. Mahal ka Niya, papatawarin ka Niya.” Paula responded to Rodrigo’s tweet and her communication with Rodrigo paved the way to a stronger relationship with God. It made her realize that everyone commits mistake and what’s important is the grace of forgiveness.
Rod’s church mates created twitter accounts just to be able to give Paula messages of strength and encouragement. Paula, while crying, shared how one Sunday she went to the Grace Testament Church. “Pumunta ako, very warm, naramdaman kong welcome ako. Saka yung naramdaman ko na para akong niyayakap ni Jesus.” She described her experience as “amazing” and a testament to how “God’s love will never fail you.” Where she was bashed and judged in the outside world “doon naramdaman ko ang divine love. I was really crying while they were telling me, ‘You are saved, you are redeemed.”
Her whole experience taught her that “this is God’s purpose for my life. Whatever is in store for me, tatanggapin ko ng buong puso.” Paula started attending Sunday service and she was baptized in March 2013.
The greatest thing that happened to Paula from her Amalayer experience was how she was humbled and how she learned the depth of the word “forgiveness.” Paula admitted having had a hard time forgiving at first but all that had changed because of her renewed faith. “Napatawad ko na po talaga siya. Kung nanonood siya, salamat kasi if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have this kind of relationship with God. Thank you pati sa nag-upload. Yung old po lahat niyo tinulungan mawala. Yung Paula right now na nagsasalita sa harapan niyo lives in Christ now.”
Paula also held herself accountable to what happened. “Tanggap ko naman po na may kasalanan din ako at pinatawad ko na din yung sarili ko.”
Forgiveness, according to Paula, starts with forgiving oneself. “Yun po yung alam ko na importante. You have to first forgive yourself para makapag-patawad ka ng ibang tao. Una, admit mo na may kasalanan ka rin, may pagkakamali ka rin para maka-move ka sa susunod na step, para mapatawad mo ang sarili mo. Tapos saka ka na makakapag-patawad ng ibang tao.”
Paula’s story will be featured on Maalaala Mo Kaya on July 19, 2014. Paula Salvosa will be played by Angeline Quinto.