Tag Archive | life

A Not-So-Blissful Weekend

My husband is OC. It was actually my best friend Lorraine who told me about this word, “obsessive-compulsive.” Wikipedia defines obsessive-compulsive personality disorder or OCPD as a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency. Say, add safety to that. Alright, maybe I’m a bit sarcastic about my husband’s overly cleanliness, which is not even for his sake but for the kids, but sometimes it’s so exhausting already. That is why, I have to conclude that he is an OC because what other explanation do I have for the fact that he sees the germs, bacteria or whatsoever on the floor rags, body scrubs, etc, when I can’t. Maybe I just have poor eyesight. And by the way, his vision the last time we checked it (not 2 months ago) was 200-225. Mine’s 20-20. Just telling.

Okay, I take it back. He’s not really OC. He’s just protective of us which explains this obsessive need for cleanliness. I’m just mad I guess because the weekend didn’t end so well for me last night. The weekend started out fine. We took the kids out last Saturday and Demi even coaxed us to have our family photo with some jungle animals at the mall.

The next day, some of my husband’s niece and nephews visited over plus Michelle, my friend from office dropped by the house and spoiled us with some treats from their province. I was anticipating a happy ending and the day was really supposed to be a special one.

We were just about to wrap things up and call it a day when something happened. It was one of those days (and nights) when we both get irritated and annoyed with each other. Sometimes, when something gets out of track and his overly cleanliness standard is not met, he freaks out. And the series of events has like a domino effect on my mood. It’s so exhausting as I’ve said because sometimes I feel like I’m being scrutinized and I can no longer pay attention to the things that matter more to me than being sanitary like safety. In my best attempt to abate the tension, I slept the whole situation over.

It’s not a big deal really, not a special day either. I was just having tantrums, perhaps… Oh yes, before I forget, yesterday was our wedding day anniversary. What a blast, wouldn’t you agree?

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Life

I received the news about the death of a good friend two nights ago. I was never able to sleep immediately again when the news struck me. Anna Macatangay, the only other Scholastican from our batch who went to the same college with me, was only 28. Very young indeed. But who would have ever thought that her life was that complete span of 28 years. Usually people say “you’re still young, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you”. It’s definitely not in the numbers nor in any assurances that we can hold on to our lives. Suddenly, I felt fear, sorrow and all the other profound feelings brewing up inside my restless mind.

Just a year ago, Bes and I set a meeting with Anna to go over to their house and have a cooking session. Unfortunately, Anna got sick that weekend and setting up another schedule had been difficult after that. Even an after office dinner date was as difficult. She was working night shift while my weekends were occupied. Bes was just as fully booked as us. And so the days turned to weeks until a year passed by. Occasionally, Anna would pop a message in my ym and we’d talk just about anything. Just last week, she popped a message in my FB chat board. Two words, “hi jenny” and I was agitated to reply but I was helpless. FB was blocked in our office and we didn’t have internet at home or even if we did, she’d be working by night then. Several times, I tried to leave a message using my ym link with FB but to no avail. And now she’s gone. It’s so ironic that I’ll get to see her soon for the last time, but none of us she’ll ever see. Finally, I have found the time to meet her and I can’t help but think bitterly, “if only I’d exerted this effort earlier”.

It’s really scary how life can be taken from us without us knowing how or when. But it’s consoling to know that so many people cared. Anna was a silent girl but she was a great person. Now, people are attesting to that kindness and goodness, leaving messages of good will and all. She’s appreciated for the life she had lived and for the person that she was. I just hoped Anna knew about these while she was still living.

I remembered the words from a song way back when we were just 15, 3rd year high school girls. Way back, they were just words… but at present, these words demonstrate the meaning they convey such that they become understood not only by the mind but also by the heart. If life is so short, then we should value every minute of it…

“If Life Is So Short – Moffats”

Isn’t it funny
How times seems to slip away
So fast
One minute you’re happy
The other you’re sad

In my memory, Anna will always be that shy girl who was a jolly company in campus. She’s one of those few people whom I trusted as a friend and felt comfortable to be with. She was definitely part of those good memories I keep treasured in my heart forever… Part of that happy youthful years in my life.

10 Years of Conviction

Today marks one of the most important dates in my life, my birthday in spirit. 10 years ago, I engaged myself in a life-long conviction, a truth I discovered and believed so profoundly. I can not say that my life had become easy after that, nevertheless, it was more understandable and bearable.

I can still remember that special turn-over in my life. It was a cold day in February. We were among the 2,000 people waiting to embrace this new faith. And what made it most special was that I was with my family. All 4 of us, my parents, my brother and I vowed to accept the truth we so fortunately received.

As I have stated previously, life did not really become easy after that. Moreover, I had to adjust myself to even the slightest things such as dress code and hair. It was worth it anyway. Everything’s worth it when it’s sacrificed for the sake of God, of course. It’s actually so little compared to the things that we unconsciously receive. Troubles kept coming, if not of the same frequency, perhaps even more. But above all these things, I still believe, up to now, that life was brighter afterwards. Things just became clearer and I, personally, could say proudly that this aspect of my life is 100% fulfilled.

True, not everything that I longed for was granted. I had to brave the darkest parts in my life within that span of 10 years. Frustrating as this may have seemed, gradually, I began to accept that if what happened was not my will, then it must be somebody else’s, God’s. Moments that might have been depressingly hopeless always turned out alright in the end. These things made me realize the wonder of God’s will. My conviction that everything works for those who love God is what keeps me hoping.

Yes, for the past 10 years, I may not have been the most fruitful and useful person, nor the most kind and generous of heart. I still struggle up to now. But one thing I can guarantee, the faith I so earnestly believed in, is still intact, very much alive and burning. 10 years is just a start. God willing, I can say these things again, in the next 10 years, and the years after that, for as long as I live.

Friendster Forever

News has it that Friendster faces its last day as a social networking site today, May 31, 2011. Reflecting on what I feel about this, I thought I shouldn’t feel too sad. After all, I did say goodbye to Friendster more than 2 years ago. I won’t be even needing the Friendster Exporter, an application offered to members for compressing years of memories into a downloadable file. But all the same and perhaps more, the memories had been secured in my time capsule, which had been retrieved by my dear “Gyun Woo” at the right time.

I had reasons for deleting my account and believe me, it wasn’t a very easy decision. It’s just that a lot of things can happen in five years. I was introduced to the network by sis. Dian, back in December 2004 when the site was still fresh and its growth was quite viral. I wasn’t too choosy with friend requests either and I have to admit, half of my friends list was perhaps strangers. On one occasion, after the 2005 National Youth Convention (NYC) in May, I received a message and friend request from Nilo. That was how I met the man I love most. You see, this premise alone would justify the value Friendster has to me. It served as the connecting ground for us even though we were separated miles apart. He was asking how the NYC went that year, for that was the first year that Nilo wasn’t able to participate in the Church activity.

What started as an innocent inquiry turned into interests for each other. Inspecting his Friendster profile, it was quite disappointing to see how fairly minimalist it was without much info to delve into. He had but three pictures, one of which was a camel’s. He had but a handful of testimonials too, nothing compared to mine where some anxious suitors even bravely confessed. His description of himself was as simple as “simple” though it was a relief that his status was not “it’s complicated.” What struck me though, his answer to the famous one liner “Who I Want to Meet:” was “My Sassy Girl.” Now that was a bit different to the usual “friends, classmates, families” and the like.

Since then, our relationship was similar to the frequency I updated my profile account, which was on and off. We were nothing more than best friends but his frequent tantrums would cause us silence that could stretch for months. When the dark ages in my life happened, he wasn’t around to be aware. Until one day, I decided to reach out. Despite the distance, our friendship needed not much restoration though, maybe because we were really destined for each other.

When the storm of the dark ages subsided, I started picking up remnants of my life. Not everything could be restored I realized, and so I needed to let go of the others. This included my Friendster account. As I’ve said before, it wasn’t easy and I had second thoughts. But while I was browsing through my profile, I realized there was just too much mess to clean up that it was better to just delete the entire thing. So one by one, I kept the good memories in my time capsule.

By and by, Nilo retrieved the time capsule and discovered the painful tragedy I went through. In the process, his love for me became confirmed and gradually, he too slowly healed. One day he decided to delete his Friendster account too with much gratitude. There was no more need for a social networking site looking for the person he wanted to meet. He found her and would not let her go anymore. I was his Sassy Girl. We fell in love with each other.

And now, Friendster’s finally saying goodbye too. Not that it’s totally closing down, but it’s changing its format from a social networking site to a media hub. Nevertheless, it will always be the Friendster I know of, such that when I hear the name, it will draw me back to when I was 5 years younger. Whether a social site or media hub, testimonials and all, it’s complicated or not, my shout out will always be, Friendster Forever. 🙂

Pilgrimage Back to Life

April 29. Not only does this date mark the remembrance of the bond I have with the man I love most, but a few years before we finally united in love, I remember how it also marked the beginning of a new life for me, after the miserable times in my life.

For more than a year, I had been imprisoned by miseries and that future for me was bleak. It was a very sad life and I thought that only death would be my freedom. But the wisdom of God is really unfathomable, my vision, limited. I did not know that this is how the despair would end. This was my story…

The results of a broken heart begot childish decisions that resulted to a series of disasters until I found myself trapped. For more than a year, I was no longer the holder of my life. Still, I remained faithful and did what I knew was right, trying not to be bitter about life although during those times death looked sweeter. Finally, in the month of April, something happened and I was free. It wasn’t easy though, trust me, and at a very young age, I was able to say what only older people can, “I have been there.”

Freedom came with a great reward, and although the price had been enormous too, I did not allow myself to destruction. Instead, with help from my parents, I mustered up all the strength that’s still left and began picking up pieces of my life again.

April 29. I took a refuge to Ozamis, where my brother and his family worked and lived. This was the time when I felt most humbled because I had nothing to hold on to except hope. Financially, I was unemployed and broke. Socially, I was a recluse, and had damaged relationships even with the persons closest to me. Physically, I was able yes, but a depressed spirit left me incapable of many things. Only hope. That was my only possession.

Slowly, life began to grow inside me. And with God’s intervention, I was able to face the world with anticipation again. After a month, I began to reach out to people. The best account was encompassed in this letter dated May 28:

It’s a beautiful Monday morning today here in the Philippines… Yesterday, I finally met the brethrens from locale of Ozamis and we all went to Lokal of Sinacaban, it’s the next nearest lokal here, where we were supposed to have the WS and viewing. Supposed because it didn’t happen, unfortunately there was a power blackout so we spent the rest of the morning from 8am to 12noon chatting and eating. There is this one sister they called “Nanay” who generously supplied us with breakfast of boiled bananas and camotes and hot Milo, and then with lunch of ABC noodles (with sort of spaghetti sauce), sardines, rice, and cold orange juice, and dessert of ripe mangoes. As for the WS and viewing, it was rescheduled on Thursday. We shall start at 9 for the WS, the viewing, then the PM.

The nearest lokal here requires that you ride a tricycle, a bus, and hitch at the back of single motor cycles. Four of us met at lokal of Ozamis then we went to Sinacaban together, two were workers, bro. Jori and bro. Ronald, and the other was bro. Ronell. The hitch at the back of single motors is quite scary because the way was uphill, and rough roads. I rode on one of the motors with a large package tied at the back and it somewhat served as a back support to me. The other three, rode on another motor so they were 4 all in all including the driver. It was exciting and funny. Imagine, gasoline stations were actually nipa huts with bottles of 1 litter coke displayed hehe… The driver of my motor stopped at one of these “gasoline stations” and said 1 litter mix and the lady mixed a small scoop of some liquid into the one litter of gas… I can’t keep a straight face I had to smile it’s so funny to me…

After a while, we finally stopped in front of a house with the banner of lokal ng Sinacaban. It was a beautiful provincial house, elevated from the floor and the floor of the porch was made of kawayan. The walls and floor of the house were made of wood. It was really cool there. So provincial with green bermuda grasses, pots with flowers, trees and all. After a while, the power black out happened then we had to wait until bro. Jori called the RS (here the DS is equivalent to Region Servant already because lokals here are comparatively fewer) and they decided to re-sched the services.

On June 10 and 11, we shall be going to Lokal of Oroquieta (it’s a different town from Ozamis already) for the PBK, a quite beautiful b-day gift to me. Bro. Ronald was telling us that the brethrens there were warned of an appearing ghost. They said that the tenants before them didn’t last a week because their only son who was only 5 years old was apparently playing with someone or something they do not see. Bro. Jori said he had seen a lady with flowing dress there on one occasion. Another told us that a white “thing” passed behind him while he was chatting on YM. It was actually his chat mate who saw the thing on cam. They don’t know for sure what the ghost really is. Another story says that a group of young teens had burried an aborted baby underneath one of the wooden floors. But believe it or not, during PBKs, the brethrens want to sleep over those wooden floors because it’s cooler there, and they don’t care less about that aborted baby burried there. I think they are sensible.

On our way back, we walked from the lokal downhill until we reached the main road where the buses are. It was a 45-minute walk, quite pleasant except for the overhead sun which I think burnt the back of my neck hehe… I didn’t notice the walk but this morning when I got up, my calf muscles were complaining… heheh

While we waited for another 30 minutes for the “right” bus (because it was either full or aircon – bro. Ronald says bro. Jori is allergic to aircon hehe but the real reason is we were saving.) Bro. Jori was talking to me and I don’t know how, but he got the whole truth out from me. […] Besides, I already felt that he had been wondering about me because a one year vacation in my brother’s house when there seems to be no problem with my residence in manila is quite mind boggling… He’s smart! He knew something was wrong with me… In the end he just said, “basta patuloy ka lang… anjan na yan eh… malay natin, kung kayo, kyo talaga…” I couldn’t care less about the romance part. I just want to get my life straight again…

Anyway, that’s all… I was just excited. Thanks for the audience!

Sis. Jenny

Anyway, I didn’t spend my birthday as I expected because plans came abruptly. My sister-in-law had a week conference in Cebu and my brother and their 2-month-old son had to come too, to visit her family. Fare was expensive so I decided to stay with my Tita Belen in Dumingag, a town several hours away from Ozamis. It was a wonderful vacation and thanks to God for Tita Belen and her kindness. Their place was really great, too bad I didn’t have camera.

After another month, the one year vacation had to be cut to two and a half months because I was very eager to go home already and began crossing out dates at the calendar. I knew I had recovered enough to face normal life but my mother was afraid. Out of pity perhaps, my father finally let me go home. By chance, my sister and brother had another conference in July, this time in Manila. So by July 4, we all went home… The pilgrimage didn’t end there though… It had just began. 🙂

Royal Anniversary

April 29, 2011. While the rest of the world grippingly watched the fairy tale love story of Prince William and Kate, I and my Dear husband were enthralled by our own plans for a lovely wedding anniversary celebration. For me, it’s quite emblematic that their chosen date of wedding was the same as ours. Now I have the folly to pretend that royal blooded people think alike (lol). It made me remember too, the last line of the article about me in my high school grad book: “Even if she doesn’t eventually marry Prince William, she will always be a princess.” (compliments to Tani Bocaya, a very good friend up to now). I’m thinking, I can not marry him, we have the same blood (hahaha). So God gave me another Prince to marry and we are living happily ever after.

Well, pulling myself back to the ground, it’s been a while since my Dear and I last dated out because the kids are quite a handful, plus the daily stresses were slowly trying to influence our relationship, so we had been looking forward to this special night.

As soon as we had tucked the kids to bed, we went out ready to enjoy each other’s company. We chose Isaw Haus since it’s the nearest and most commendable place for the occasion. While waiting for the food to be served, I placed a letter envelope on the table before my husband, and he sheepishly took it because he said he didn’t prepare anything for me (wow, how naturally sweet, hehe). I told him I expected it and didn’t mind at all, increasing his guilt all the more (haha the desired effect of course :p ). I watched him closely while he took the paper inside and opened it. At first, he was confused, and it was a long moment before the surprise sank into him. It was the result of my exams, the sweet suspense. He smiled and looked at me while I raised my eyebrows and raised my hand for a high five. He kissed my hand and congratulated me, saying “See, I told you!” This time, I found his arrogance acceptable so I no longer argued. And, as a reward, we tolerated a bit of gluttony as he added a few more orders because he said the surprise increased his appetite (and secretly, so did mine haha). As usual, the restriction was with stomach space and keeping watch of our figures (as if we have figures to maintain haha).

Our food consisted of inihaw varieties, tokwa’t baboy and the most loved sizzling sisig plus the undisclosed number of rice servings (hehe).

It was a perfect night for both of us.

Sweet Suspense

After a year of preparation, I decided to finally face my fears and end my agony. And so I took the test last month of April. I was scheduled on the 14th at Salustiana Tower, Makati for the first part. I arrived at least an hour earlier than the schedule and while waiting, I killed time by texting messages with Nilo, who was perhaps more excited about the results than me. In the first place, excitement was the last thing I felt at that time. I was sooo nervous. This test costed us 9k! I’d just die if I had to repeat.

I finished early with the first part and Nilo called the minute he learned it was over, he was assessing how it went and told me it looked positive because of my voice. Of course not, he has just probably mistaken the adrenalin rush with confidence. I told him I didn’t expect that my opinion about concerts would be asked for I had never been to one. And I find Nilo’s overconfidence unbearable that I had to break his bubble so when he asked me what I answered, I started to say, “The concert is beautiful…” and he immediately cut me out with his laughter and said “Go borrow another 9k!”

As for the part two, it was scheduled on the 16th at the Makati Shangrila. As usual, I arrived too early and so I had to stay at the waiting area. To fill in the time, I took shots of the place. At ten minutes before the time, I proceeded at the area and found that hundreds had been taking their registration already. I did not mind the long line though, there was plenty of extra time allotted for the registration so that nobody got late.

The test took longer than the first part, and when it was over, I felt so doomed I believed I wouldn’t get positive results. During the test, I looked at the details several times to ensure that the correct category was given to me because I found it extra difficult.

For two weeks, each test takers had been killed gradually everyday with suspense until finally the 29th came, releasing of the results! That was the date of our anniversary and so the results would have great impact on my mood (because Nilo is the optimist, not me). As early as I had arrived at the office (before 8am) I immediately checked the website and so did Nilo although he didn’t admit it at once. Unfortunately, the website was down the whole day. I took this as a bad sign, that perhaps I was being spared of the heartache on our anniversary, especially since we were planning to date out that night. But curiosity got over me so I called the agency just right on time, Ms. Lorie had just received the results and was at that exact moment scanning the document. I find it sweet now recalling how she told me it was good I wasn’t able to see the results online because the element of surprise was still intact. I asked her, did I pass? To which she replied “Passed? (My heart almost pounded out of its ribcage) You aced it!” Whew! I almost shouted haha! What a happy feeling, thanks to God for another intervention! Now I don’t want to question how it happened, all I know is that I was truthful when I said the test was difficult.

What a great gift on our wedding anniversary. I didn’t immediately tell Nilo, he was the one who suffered the great deal with suspense. Haha! Nevertheless, the surprise was sweetest for him too. 🙂