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Plenty of Reasons Why I love You

The Book of Matthew wonderfully stated,where your heart is, there your treasures will be. 

You and I had been married for nine wonderful months already. We are almost old but we are everything but old when it comes to relationship and parenting. This week, I am reflecting on how God is moving in our life as a couple and as parents to our Babaching.

As I look back on our time together as sweetheart and later as parents, I can’t help but feel in awe, blessed and thankful for God’s work in our life.

You are far from perfect as a husband as a father. But, I am learning to love every bit of you, including our differences. For I know that it’s part of the man I love.

To my ex-boyfriend, best friend and constant critic, number one fan and supporter, the man who sees the beautiful in me despite the fact that I just went through twelve hours of labor and delivery, even if my hair is a mess from Babaching’s constant pulling, to the man who believes that I can do things that I don’t even think I could, here are some of the reasons why I thank God for bringing me to you:

1. You push me to be better everyday. There are plenty of times when I said I’ve reached my maximum. That I’ve reached the end. But you will only smile and say “Hindi pa. More pa love. Kaya mo yan.”

2. You don’t hesitate to point out I’m wrong when I am. For this, I am overly grateful. There are times when I am so adamant for things to happen according to my standard. And if my standards fail, I ended up feeling frustrated. In which, you would say “Hindi kasi nakikinig. Next time, listen. You are not always right, you know. ”

3. You have a generous and giving heart. You may accept this fact or not. But you are. The way you share your blessings to me, to our family and to the people we know is a testament to that. You wouldn’t hesitate giving a helping hand when you know it is necessary.

4. You are honest. That sometimes it hurt. But that makes me love you and respect you more. When my “mothering” Babaching seems over-acting, you would not hesitate pointing it out.

5. You taught me to let go. You helped me realized that I should not always be in control. That there are things/people/circumstances better left alone and unsaid.

This list could go on and on, love. But my main point is that I love you. Every night, as we pray, I never fail to thank God for bringing me to you, for giving me an amazing partner and I will continue to praise Him because of you.

My wallet is almost empty, my bank account is almost zero but my heart is full of love from you and for you.

Love Your Marriage

Meet the most loving husband one can have.

Meet the most loving husband one can have.

“For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”

Nine months since the day I got married. For the short time that we are together, Jay had opened my eyes to a lot of things. Ours is not a perfect marriage nor ideal. But it is a happy, blessed union of two different individuals sharing the same dreams, values and aspirations in life. 

There had been instances when our temper and emotion got the upper hand. Several times, I felt like I was on the edge of just packing my bags, grab our baby and go. And I know, even if he didn’t say it, that there were times when Jay was at his end of the rope too.

But we always end up praying. Praying and remembering our vows to stay together through thick and thin, in the promise that God has given us. That His love for us will endure our human weaknesses. 

I have learned that for marriage to work, you simply don’t just love your family, your husband, your children. You should also love your marriage. You always remember your vows and why you decided to get married. Loving your marriage includes putting enough time for you and your partner to grow together and individually, giving quality time to your children and remembering that no matter how rich you are, your greatest wealth is having your partner and your children.

Our small and happy family

Loving your marriage means that you will not allow yourself to sin, to indulge in callings of the flesh and allure of gambling.

Loving your marriage means honouring your vows, remembering it and living it.

Changing Paradigms

I look at the twinkling Christmas lights while I was stuck in the heavy traffic of the Metro. As a little girl, I used to be so amazed by the splendor of those lights. More than once, I wished of living in a house full of twinkling lights and giant Christmas trees, laden with gifts and sweets.

Twenty plus years later, here I am. Still amazed by the splendor of the lights but no longer wishing to live in a house filled of twinkling lights and christmas trees and gifts and sweets. All I wanted is to be at home, with my folks and my dear sister. Typhoon Haiyan had hit our town, and few days before Christmas, electricity is yet to be restored. In lieu of twinkling Christmas lights and all the grandeur of this Season, our home is lit by one electric bulb, powered by a generator. No tall Christmas trees or gifts, either, as most of our finances went into the immediate restoration of our house.

But I don’t care. I don’t need those fancy stuff, all I need is to see and feel that my family is safe and well. No amount of grandness can compensate for them. Perhaps, with ageing comes the shedding of a girl’s rose-colored perspective of life into something more realistic. A little bit harsh and tough but still wonderful.

Skirts, Stilettos and Prejudice

I love wearing dresses, skirts, shorts and blouses. Sometimes it’s frilly, or lace or flower.

I hate dealing with people who think that they can judge my character because of my clothes. Honestly, wearing my lace dress doesn’t give anyone the right to assume that I am helpless. And oh, just because my skirt’s hemline is above my knees doesn’t give anyone the right to assume that I want to be raped. Or that I am flirting. Or that I want to be “hit” on. 

I am a free individual. Beyond my capacity to wear dresses and skirts, I also have a brain that I use 90% of the time and serves me better than the rest of my body. Not that I am complaining with my body parts. It’s the fact that people sometimes got stuck on the body parts and failed to recognize my other, much better part – my skills and my intelligence.

I hate the fact that when I go to work, people would more often praise my clothes than my output. It sucks that even these government employees, expected to perform everything with gender sensitivity has the unfortunate skill of saying the most gender insensitive statement.

Honestly, if I have to endure one more sexist comment on my skirt, I’ll be putting these stilettos into good use. Carpe diem!  

 

Too Young to Go

Three years ago, I lost a friend.

His death -like all death- was painful. In some ways, it was unexpected. He was just in his twenties. Fresh out of college and more than ready to face the world. He is a big guy, and I always like the fact that when we hang out, I can hide behind his back and our other friends can’t guess where I am. He was a jolly man and he was a happy crazy friend. Everybody in our batch loved him, there’s no denying that.

We had a somehow special bond since he’s my big sister’s boyfriend. I’ve watched them begun as friends then somewhere along that time, fall in love with each other. From a distance, I witnessed how their love grew and how they held hands to survive the rocky parts of their relationship. I respected him – as a person, as a friend, as a part of the family. 

And then one day, I woke up with text messages from almost all my friends and the multitude of Facebook status asking to pray for him. Since I’m already here in the city, I have very vague idea of what happened. I tried calling my big sister but she failed to answer the phone.

And then the confirmation happened. I received one text from big sister. “He’s gone.” And I felt raw pain hit me on my chest. Questions of why, how and the denial came. But the Facebook posts wishing him eternal rest and happiness is like salt being rubbed on fresh wound.

He was too young to go. He was full of life. He’s like Jack Frost, always fun, happy and bubbly. When we lost him, we didn’t just lost a friend – we lost a brother, a part of us. 

It took me three years before I can write about his death. At times, I wonder why did God took him so early. I bet I’ll never know the answer. 

But in his demise, he taught me one more valuable lesson – learning to live again after a part of you is lost.

Ex, Thank You

Dear Ex(es)

This is not a satirical or sarcastic letter. This is an honest-to-goodness thank you letter for you . It can either be I was the one who broke your heart or you broke mine. Often, it was both.

Thank you for telling me all my shortcomings during our relationship. It had helped me realize on what areas, especially on attitude and communication I need to improve.I know that when the next relationship happens, I can express myself more clearly and explicitly. I now also know when to throw a tantrum and when not to.

Thank you for pointing out that my career had taken over my life. I now know that I need to put my priorities in order. And you helped me realize that time is the greatest gift I can give. 

Thank you for making me realize that I deserve someone better. For years, I had been bitter and resented the fact that you cheated on me. Lately though, I realized that it happened for the best, according to God’s perfect plan. If you hadn’t cheated on me, I wouldn’t have realized that I have bigger and better potential as an individual.

Lastly, thank you for letting me go and setting me free. Believe me, that one year and a half had ended badly, but it has its light moments. But I’d rather keep it where it rightfully belongs – in the past,as a memory.

So, thank you for the love, the fights, the disagreements, the memories and most of all thank you for the lessons that you and our relationship had taught me. It had made me better, stronger and a bit more tougher. It had encouraged me to know myself more and to pursue bigger things in life.

Gracias, amigo. May you also find your happiness.

Farewell,

Me

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Almost Home

I was hesitant on my first trip there. I had my doubts when we went there in 2012. I was a stranger, a new face. And I’m not exactly Miss Congeniality when it comes to making new friends. But since the entire Youth Ministry was rearing to go, I did. My prayer that time was for things to work out fine.

Then I saw the rice fields. Green, green, green, rice fields as far as my eyes can see. And my, oh my, the mountains. I knew from that moment on that I love this place. It’s like a secret heaven, tucked in the bosom of Central Luzon in the Philippines. The place – Malacanang, Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija.

One thing that struck me most about the place (other than the never ending rice fields) is the warmth and humor of the people in this place. They’re sweet and caring. Plus, they feed me well. They always took the extra effort to prepare our favorite dishes when we’re there. I felt at home in this place.

And I love the nights in Malacanang. Not so hot, not so cold. Just enough to lull me into the most peaceful slumber with the sweetest dreams.

Of course, I also look forward to the rip to Ibayo. It’s a parcel of land where folks there plant their vegetables and fruit bearing trees! aaaaahhh, the luxury of eating freshly picked fruits :))

Malacanang reminds me of home, of the days I used to spend in our farm in the province. Of the simple life that we lived as a child before the responsibilities of being an adult manifested and took its toll.

This is almost home. 🙂